Onions are part of a group of plants that contain amino acid sulfoxides. As an onion is peeled or chopped, it releases gas into the air that irritates our eyes. When this happens, the glands above the eyelids release reflex tears. To enjoy the taste of the onion, we must accept the tears. When we allow God to peel back the many layers of our life, the irritating areas of sin and brokenness that are uncovered often bring tears too. I invite you to read more.
I am often asked where I get my inspiration for each week’s topic. The answer is simple, it also might surprise you. Each week’s message is like a public copy of my personal diary. I wait each week to hear God’s voice to discover things in my life that need attention. What He reveals to me is what I write about. In other words, my messages are often directed to an audience of one, me. I share them with everyone else in the hope that they might offer help and inspiration to anyone who reads them.
Carl Sandburg once wrote, “Life is like an onion: you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”
Satan is cunning. He often causes us to put too much emphasis, focus and attention on those one or two areas of recurring sin in our life. He hopes that these Achilles heels of ours will prevent us from seeing those things in our life that are truly displeasing to God. Our frequently recurring sins are usually only the surface of the onion. Our bigger sins and brokenness lay much deeper below the surface. As God peels away the outside layers, what we discover often brings tears to our eyes.
This was certainly true for me. As I have written before, there were many years that I kept some areas of my life well hidden. Unfortunately, my recurring sins and brokenness consumed way too much of my attention. With God’s prompting, I have been making these parts of my life known through my writings. God continues to peel back more layers. I often don’t like the things I see. My last four articles are prime examples. Ambassadors of Peace, Monitoring our Inner Volcano, Division and Rage and Spiritual Dryness Revisited, were all topics that God wanted me to spend time reflecting on.
It is never easy for me to publicly admit my flaws and sinfulness. I share these messages each week because I believe God wants me to. Based on the many emails and posts I receive back, I believe that the Holy Spirit is touching many lives through my openness.
I recently read this quote online, “ Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives.” This is so true! We need to give praise and thanks to God each time He peels back another layer of our broken condition, even if it does bring tears.
The Bible tells us that Moses wore a veil over his face so that the Israelites could not look intently at the cessation of what was fading. 2 Corinthians 3:16 tells us whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed. God removes our veil by peeling back our many layers.
You and I may never truly overcome all of the flaws in our life, but as they are reveled to us like layers of an onion being peeled away, we can lay them at the foot of the cross, ask God to strengthen our resolve to improve and beg Him to have mercy on us for those times we fail.
Is God peeling away some painful areas of your life? Is He revealing some things that need your attention? Are there bigger areas of sin hidden under the outer layers? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please join me in this prayer inspired by the words of Psalm 139:23-24.
“Probe me, God, know my heart; try me, know my thoughts. See if there is a wicked path in me; lead me in the way everlasting.”
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