Inside OutMaybe today has been one of those days that seems to have knocked you down more times than you can count.  Maybe, at the end of a tough week, all you want to do is go home and sleep.  Or maybe going home is the problem.  I can’t pretend to know what you’re feeling right now, or how your day, week, month, or year has been.  But I can point you to the cross, the healer, the One who loves us no matter what.  This song, From the Inside Out, is one I’ve known for a long time, but maybe it’s what you and I need to hear today. 

A thousand times I’ve failed
Still your mercy remains
Should I stumble again
Still I’m caught in your grace
Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

I’m pretty sure that a thousand times is a gross underestimation of how many times I’ve screwed up in my 24 years of life.  And yet EVERY time, God picks me up, dusts me off, and puts me right side up again.  EVERY time.  And His grace truly is enough.  Enough for me.  Even though I’m not perfect, even though I don’t believe that I am worth anything sometimes, even though I fail, and I fall, even though I am broken and bruised and battered and worn – God still chooses me.  He still uses me.

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise
Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

I don’t know about you, but sometimes trying to decipher the will of God seems like wading through jello.  Jello.  But the will of God is still what I strive for above all else.  But it’s hard to strive for something that you don’t really understand, don’t get.  When the questions pile up, when the struggles seem too hard to bear, when the rain seems never-ending – it’s easier to cry out to God asking, “Why?” than to say, “Your will be done.”  But Christ, our example, showed us the way when, in the Garden of Gethsemane, he cried out to the Father, asking Him to take this cup, but ultimately saying, “Your will be done.”  So, Father God, Your will be done in my life.  No matter how difficult it may be.

In my heart, in my soul
I give you control
Consume me from the inside out
Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Perhaps these lines are the ones that really hit me: In my heart, in my soul, I give you control.  I like to be able to control things.  But I’ve got to let go of the illusion of control because, let’s be honest, if I truly had control of my life, it would be a disaster.  Fortunately, Christ is the one in control of my life.  But my desire for control is really a measure of my distrust.  When I try to take control, I’m saying, “God, I really think I could do this better.  I know what I need better than you do.  Your will is actually better in my hands.  I don’t trust you with this.”  But the thing is, I do trust God.  Wholeheartedly.  With everything.  I’m human.  I’m going to want control sometimes.  I’m going to take it into my own hands and screw it up.  But just like the beginning of this song says, A thousand times I’ve failed, still your mercy remains.  So I’m letting go of my desire for control.  I want the world to see Christ when they see me.  Christ is the center of my life, my all, my everything.  Consume me from the inside out, Lord.  

Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

Because the cry of my heart is to bring you praise.  To love the Lord with ALL of my heart, ALL of my soul, ALL of my mind, and ALL of my strength.  To live my life for the One who saved me, who pursued me, who bought me for a price – His life – who continues to pick me up when I fall, who continues to reach out His hand to call me back when I have walked away.  Whose grace is enough for me.

So no matter where you are today, whatever you are feeling, no matter how broken you feel, no matter how many times you have failed, His mercy remains.  He has loved you with an everlasting love, one that will never fail, never give up on you.  So may we live today, and every day, singing,

The cry of my heart is to bring You praise.

From the inside out, Lord, my soul cries out.

Kristen headshot

Kristen Entwistle is a graduate student pursuing her PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology at Michigan State University.  After graduating with her PhD, Kristen hopes to teach biochemistry at a small liberal arts college.  A member of Red Cedar Evangelical Free Church, she helps to lead worship on Sunday mornings and leads a women’s Bible study on Saturday mornings.  She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was three months old, and has seen God work through the ups and downs of life and through her disease.  Kristen enjoys reading, swimming, running, crocheting, and writing in her spare time.  

Connect with Kristen online: 

Twitter: @swimmingforhim