The inward being, the outward being…

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3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. 

Here the apostle greets the believers who are receiving his letter. I’m particularly drawn to the distinction he is making between the outward being (health) and the inward being (soul).  The older I get the more I realize these two dimensions of being don’t necessarily track together.

This week my shoulder is bothering me a bit. I’m told it’s tendonitis, but that’s just the latest bit of breakdown in my physical being. The issues keep piling up and I know it’s not likely to get better the older I get. That’s just a fact of life. We’re not designed to last forever, at least not on the outside.

But then there’s the inside part of our being, the “soul”. Whereas it’s been a bad week for my shoulder, it’s been a good week for my inner being. I’m at a continuing education retreat with a few pastor colleagues I’ve been meeting with for three years now. We’ve gotten to be really good friends and it blesses me to spend time with these people. They support and encourage me, but also challenge me in my life and work.

In this and other ways my soul is in a good place – well, mostly. I’m human and there are days that feel heavy and difficult. But the Lord has been good in helping my inside grow stronger as my outside grows weaker. Lord thank you for the grace you pour out on your children. Amen.

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