"An Inside Perspective"

August 2008

My dear family in Christ,

Ever-precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! The greenhouse and its surrounding grounds have become my training school in Christ. He's teaching me daily. My hands have become hardened and callused again from working outside everyday. When I was a steeple-jack, my hands were always leathery and callused. After being locked up for so many years they had become soft. I did not like it at all. It seems I have an internal drive to work with my hands and I love it!

Recently, I wasn't paying attention while using a spade. After a couple of hours I looked down and saw a huge blister, dead center at the base of my palm. I was so focused on my work that I failed to heed my body's warning of pain. The blister was the size of a dime and it would take a few weeks to heal. During that time of healing the Lord was schooling me.

First, I learned that I didn't need to have that blister. The blister was the result of not heeding the warning signal of pain that my body was sending me. It was admonitory and it was painful. It was my body's "messenger for good" saying, "Stop, wrong way!" Once I had the blister though, it re-opened constantly as I chose to ignore the persistent throbbing of pain. It eventually, over time, became callused and leathery. Today that area is hard as a rock.

Did you know that you can develop a spiritual blister on your heart? It is intended to be admonitory and it can be painful. It is God's "messenger for good" saying, "Stop, wrong way!" You can be so focused on your work that you may not even notice it. A spiritual blister is the result of us not heeding the warning of the Holy Spirit. Somewhere, we have decided to do things "our way." If we choose to ignore Him, the blister will constantly re-open and develop into a callus. Eventually, over time, if we continue to rebel, our hearts will become callused and leathery, perhaps even hard as a rock, no longer able to sense the warnings of the Lord. It is written, twice in Romans 1, "Therefore, God also gave them up to . . ." Then finally a third time, "God gave them over to a reprobate mind . . ." The consequences of rebellion is a wicked downward spiral into sin until finally, God forbid, He give you over to a debased mind. The result is that you will actually think your wrong is right! It is written, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."

Secondly, I learned that the blister was in such a place that no matter what I did, the wound in my palm was affected and it hurt me. From the big things to the smallest of things, from shaking hands or tying my shoes to the playing of my guitar for worship, it was all affected. No matter what I did, the wound would re-open and the healing would have to start all over again. It was always painful and served as a constant reminder to me of that wound in my palm.

As I lay in my bed at night, I would hold out my palm and stare at it. There was a bloody wound dead center at the base of my palm and I couldn't help but think of the Lord's own nail-scarred hand. Many nights, I just layed there on my bunk and stared at it reflectively. It is written, "And one shall say unto Him, 'What are those wounds in Thine hands?' Then He shall answer, 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.' "

I thought about how everything I did was affected by that blister, yes, that bloody wound on my palm. I also couldn't help but consider, how all I do, big things and small, should somehow be directly related to those bloody wounds in my Savior's palms. Christ Jesus our Lord is referred to four times in the book of Revelation as "the Lamb that was slain." It is therefore my personal belief that the scars upon His hands will be recognizable by you and by me, forever, as an eternal witness of His great love with which He loved us.

Those marks, those scars on His palms, also remind our Lord daily of you. They are His constant reminder of His own poured out blood for you upon the altar of the cross. They are His eternal statement of love reminding Him of you as He intercedes moment-by-moment to keep you. Did you know you are kept? His palms forever shout of His keeping love. His scars are your eternal security. Your salvation is as eternally secure as the fact that He was "slain before the foundation of the world."

Did you ever think about how your disobedience affects Him? It hurts Him. I wonder, does He hold out His palms, as I did, and reflect on His monumental sin-bearing for you? Yes, He thinks of you by name as He stares at His nail scarred hands. Perhaps He thinks, "This I did for you, what do you do for Me?" Ask yourself, "What do I really do for the Lord and what do I really do for me? Reflect; "How do His palms affect my actions?" It is written, "They have pierced my hands and my feet . . ." Does that truth honestly affect all that you do? Think on that . . .


Joyfully in Jesus,