Jen’s Gem: You can trust God.
I recently had my kitchen cabinets painted white. Brushed nickel door hinges and handles completed the look. It is a huge improvement over the dark, 1970’s brown that made the kitchen seem dreary. Now the entire kitchen screams “I’m here!” and “Look at me!” It appears bigger and brighter – all from a coat of paint.
The process was relatively painless. The contractor sanded the entire area, removed the doors to paint them in his workshop, painted the framing and within a week, put it all back together again. I had a tearful, HGTV reveal moment, to which he responded with “Yeah, I get that a lot.”
With the doors removed, the entire contents of my kitchen cabinets were revealed. In one fell swoop, the contractor could see everything from bags of coffee to paper goods to pots and pans. My whole “kitchen life” was put on display for him and his partner.
I pondered whether he noticed the multiple boxes of Atkins bars that come in handy when I’m too busy to prepare a full meal for myself. Did he see the humongous container of protein that my son uses for his daily smoothies? I wonder if he formed an opinion of me based on these items.
Since he does this for a living, I’m certain he sees a variety of foodstuffs, cutlery, glassware, and cooking utensils. He sees all of his clients “insides.” At first, I felt a bit self-conscious, but as the week progressed and we bantered about this and that each day, this feeling subsided.
It can be difficult to show people your insides – those deep, sometimes dark places, where hurts or negative feelings reside. It becomes especially challenging if betrayals of trust occurred after sharing this part of yourself with less than stellar people. Can you say “been there, done that?” I can.
However, there can be consequence to keeping your insides inside. Pent up anger, resentment, insecurity and a boatload of other not so pretty emotions can take their toll.
If you keep your kitchen cabinets closed all the time, you might go hungry. However, leaving them wide open can result in unwanted pounds. So what’s the remedy?
I used to be an open book. I wear my heart on my sleeve and would lose my shirt if I ever played a hand of poker. Today, through much experience and heartache, my book opens only to the chapter one until trust is built. Even then, it’s a page by page exercise until I’m confident that my “insides” won’t become your “outsides.”
Finding people you trust is tricky. If you don’t share a secret, you won’t ever know if they can be trusted. It takes a leap of faith on your part to do this, knowing that your secret could be revealed at the next office party or coffee klatch.
Today I’m blessed with people who keep my insides to themselves. I prayed about this many years ago after having been betrayed a time or two. Thankfully, God removed those people from my life and ushered in new people who I trust. I hope the feeling is mutual.
This is why I love my quiet time with Jesus each morning. No matter what I tell Him, it goes no further. He doesn’t judge me for the stupid things I do, nor does He abandon me because I’m a little cray cray at times. He’s a constant. He’s faithful. He’s my bestest BFF.
The more I’ve gotten to know God, His Son, and how the Holy Spirit operates, the more of myself I’ve exposed. Several years ago, I shared only the contents of one cabinet. Today, they’re all up for the taking. (Spoiler alert – while I thought I was keeping things from God, He already knew all about them!)
There’s so much mistrust in the world today. Sadly, people’s lives have been shattered because of being unable to zip their lips. And because people cannot trust other people, they somehow equate this with not being able to trust God. Since we have “humanized” God, we think he operates just like we do, which He does – but without the bad stuff.
God listens, but not selectively. God forgives, but forgives all. God loves, but loves unconditionally. The more we get to know who God is, the more we will trust Him with our entire lives. The only way to get to know Him is to spend time with Him. How? It’s so simple.
If you wanted to know more about a celebrity or thought leader, you’d likely head to your local library or bookstore and take out every book written about that person. You’d read it cover to cover. You’d attempt to do all of the things they did so that you could achieve what they have achieved. It’s no different getting to know God. Well, a little different because there’s only one book that speaks the truth about Him – His Word, the Bible.
I guarantee you that if you spend time reading this book , studying it, and imitating its “advice,”– you’ll never have to wonder who God is. On top of that? You’ll have a bestest BFF who will protect your insides forever and ever.
This week, I’d like to encourage you to commit to reading one book of the Bible. Just one. Start with the Gospel of John. It’s easy to understand and it will give you the inside scoop on God’s most precious possession – His Son, Jesus.
Click here to read The Message version of this book. It may be easier to read, especially if you’re a novice. Enjoy!