Not only must the inner sanctuary be kept right with God, but the outer courts as well are to be brought into perfect accord with God. (1)
In these words Oswald Chambers states the obvious, your outer life needs to match your inner life. In many cases it does.
However, we have become so adept at constructing facades and wearing masks that our outer shell glistens while our inner being is decaying.
How many times have we heard individuals use these words to report astonishment that their neighbor was a the mass murderer?
- He seemed so happy!
- He was always friendly!
- He never yelled at his kids!
- His yard was in immaculate shape!
- He’d have neighbors over for a cookout 2 or 3 times a summer!
Beauty and fame on the outside, ugliness and shame on the inside. This is a curse.
I am frequently surprised by the people who are hurting the most. Their external life shines and encourages others, while they weep and struggle on the inside.
Why do I miss seeing their agony?
I have a friend who is always smiling, always laughing, always thinking of others. Inside he is weeping and wailing. I would not have known this, but I kept watching him, I kept listening to him. I eventually realized that he was uncomfortable smiling and laughing. The smiles and laughter were meant to cover his pain.
His outer courts are in order, while his inner sanctuary is a mess.
He has yet to tell me what is tormenting him. It breaks my heart to see him hurting so happily. What can I do to help him?
Come to me,
all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. (2)
I will go to my friend with Jesus at my side. Perhaps he will open the door and let Jesus in while I am there.
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Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest : Selections for the Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 1993).
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Matthew 11:28–29.