Living Inside Out

Taking our youngest grandchildren to the Disney movie Inside Out in 2015 was fun and entertaining. It was also quite interesting to me, because I had written a poem of the same title more twelve years ago. As a follow-up to Wednesday’s post about Redefining the Christian Response to the World, I decided to share it. And although I don’t remember exactly how long ago I wrote this particular poem, I remember why I wrote it. Sometimes I scan my journal responses in My Utmost for His Highest Daily Devotional Journal by Oswald Chambers. On one such day, I ran across my 2004 response to “Abide in Me” (John 15:4 KJV), and this is part of what I wrote:

“Once I had received Christ, it was up to me to act on His new place of residence, my heart. I know this to be true because after receiving Him I went for a very long time without giving Him much consideration in my life. He was there, waiting patiently for me to choose to what extent I would allow myself to abide in Him.” I had concluded that when my chosen act of abiding in Jesus started changing my inside—when it is overflowing with Him more each day—it must all come out.

Inside Out

Making choices in this game of life

With my ideas bringing them about

No wonder I’m unable to understand

Why I am always left with doubt


I’ve received Jesus into my heart

I believe that should be enough

Can’t He take it all from here

And make it smooth from the rough?


Not true I’m told in the Gospel of John

For Jesus wants me to abide in Him

He means in each and every circumstance

Even when the darkness makes life dim


I think the darkness comes from the world

My rebellion also takes a turn

But when I choose to let it all go

Then only for Him do I yearn


This choosing comes from Him on my inside

He wants me to let it out

But this I am truly unable to do

Until I abide… erasing all doubt


From my inside and going out

I’ve chosen a new joy to express

Abiding in Him through all of my life

Even in times of wilderness


My heart and soul from the inside

Have been changed because of Him

Shouldn’t I be letting it all go out

Instead of selfishly keeping it in?


If I share my freedom from the inside out

Maybe others will wish to seek

The One in whom I place all of my trust

Then won’t others also be free?

Just as the flower blooms from the inside out, when I began to live from the inside out I readjusted the way I thought about people who are different from me. I pray it will do the same for you.


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