A Genuine Faith

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them - they are more than the sand; I come to the end - I am still with you...

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139: 13-18; 23-24 (NRSV)

Linda M Harris lives in Virginia. The CT technician stepped from behind the glass partition. As Linda sat up to leave, the technician approached her with a few questions: "You have clips in your chest from open-heart surgery?" "Yes," Linda replied. "And you have had a total hip replacement?" Again, Linda answered yes. Finally the tech asked, "And you have a permanent colostomy?" "Well, yes, I do." The tech looked shocked and blurted out, "But you look so good on the outside!"

Linda has laughed over this story many times in retelling it to her family. Linda may appear outwardly healthy, but inwardly she has signs of past surgeries and illnesses. As the technician saw her, Linda looked well and whole and strong. Her outer appearance did not show what her inner body would reveal.

As Linda considered this conversation again, she felt a strong conviction. She might appear to be spiritually healthy, strong in her faith, and obedient to God. But God is the only one who knows her heart, her thoughts, and her desires. And Linda wants what God sees and knows about her to match up with what she presents to the world.

So do I. What about you?

Prayer: Dear Lord, search our hearts. Show us how to align our hearts and our actions so that others may know we follow you, In Jesus' name. Amen.

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