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Jesus Works Inside Out
by Bro. Clifford Hurst
1101 North Union Road
Dayton, Ohio 45417
Against the backdrop of the glow of almost fluorescent reds, oranges, and yellows of trees already changed contrasting with the greens of those trying to hold on to summer's attire and across the ground's patchwork of bright colors of leaves already fallen on the dark green of the grass, I see squirrels running busily, purposefully, much more active than usual. It seems that almost every squirrel I see has a walnut in his mouth. None have I observed sitting and eating his walnut. Each is hurriedly sprinting with the walnut to deposit it in some secret, hideaway place. The explanation for the extraordinary activity and walnut carrying must be that the squirrels are busy storing up for the hard winter days ahead. When trees bare of leaves are brown, the sky is leaden gray, and the ground is blanketed beneath white, all that effort of "squirreling" away nuts is going to pay off. The squirrels with will have a store of food from which to draw. I also observed a squirrel's cousin doing likewise. I stood on our back deck talking on the phone on one recent, crisp fall morning. Rounding the corner unaware of my presence was a chipmunk. I had seen him before on this route to his hole but never like this. Each cheek was so full of seeds or nuts of some kind it appeared at first as if he had three heads. I mused how he would get his head into the entrance of his home to cache his load. Thinking of all this autumn hoarding, made me think of a Scripture. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." (Psa 119:11 KJV). "Hid" doesn't mean to conceal simply to keep secret. It means to hoard up and reserve, literally, to bank in a safe place. The secret aspect is only to protect what is saved up. Is this autumn activity of squirrels giving me a new picture of this verse? "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." I should, like a squirrel, busily each day get a hold of a Scripture I know is good food for my soul and deposit it in a place in my heart and mind so I can readily go to it when I have need. I understand the meaning of clichéd wisdom such as "You can't live off of yesterday's experience," and "Live in the now." Yet, spiritually, I cannot just live for the now. I must prepare for tomorrow. And, if yesterday I stored up no spiritual truth or experiences, I have nothing to draw from to face the challenges of today. If folks were continually storing up God's Word day after day, when the spiritual winter experiences settled in on their souls, they would have a treasured and hoarded store of God's Word in their hearts from which to nourish their tired and tried souls. I mean Scripture no harm to put it this way, but couldn't we paraphrase the above scripture, "Your Word have I squirreled away in my heart..."