1 Chronicles 28:9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him he will reject you forever.”
My heart dropped as I processed the bad news. After five months of living in a home disrupted by a January frozen pipe disaster, we were finally making headway on the kitchen remodel. The new appliances had arrived and I was excited for another step towards normalcy in our daily routine. But there was a problem! The bright, new, shiny stove fit snugly into its spot, but I couldn’t use it. Unbeknownst to me gas stoves fueled by propane need different parts than ones fueled by natural gas . . . and this stove had not been converted!
The Inner Workings of a Stove Matter
I immediately called the retailer where we had bought the stove to voice my frustration and was met with incredulity. “How could you not know you have propane? Don’t you have a tank in the back of your house?” the merchant scolded. Desperately, I tried to explain that I knew we employed propane fuel. But I had no idea there was any difference in a propane or natural gas stove. If the outside looked good to me I just pushed a button, opened the door, and slid in the cake! The inner workings made no difference to me. But apparently now I knew they were crucial.
It’s not just the inner workings of gas stoves that are important. The inner character of individuals trumps all that we see on the outside. Yet, we tend to judge people by the things we can observe without any real idea what is going on inside them. A shy, introverted individual may be judged as haughty or self-absorbed while they are really just timid and uncomfortable in their own skin. On the other hand, a charismatic and outgoing person may be estimated to be trustworthy while their sociable personality just masks a lack of integrity and ethics. It is dangerous to judge people only by their shiny exteriors.
God is Not Fooled By Polished Exteriors
King David gave some wise advise to his son, Solomon. “My Son, serve the Lord with your all your heart and mind, for the Lord knows if you are not genuine. He searches every heart and understands your thoughts and intentions. If you seek Him wholeheartedly you will find Him. But if you reject Him no amount of polished exterior will hide the truth and He will reject you.”
My new range appears quite sharp nestled between our rich cherry cabinets, but for all of its shiny exterior it will be useless until it is converted to be propane safe. I don’t believe I will make this mistake again.
I now know that the inner workings of stoves, like the inner traits of people, are what really matter. While I may not always fully understand the mechanics of either, nothing is hidden from God. He comprehends every thought and intention of the heart and outward trappings never take Him by surprise . . . not even the shiny exterior of a spanking brand new stove!
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