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Hey, can you take a look at me?

A farmer or rancher relies on his barn because it serves a variety of purposes. If he raises livestock, it can house the feed and provide shelter for an occasional animal from his herd. If he is a farmer, he may store his much needed farm implements within it and give shelter to his tractors. It could be it is a 'catch-all' for all the various tools of his trade, but without it those tools would be subject to the weather and loss. We may not fully realize or value the true value of the barn until it is in need of repair!

My sad life's dilapidated, a falling-down barn; build me up again by your Word. (Psalm 119:28)

Reduced to ruin or decay, that old barn is not going to be of much use to the farmer. It could have occurred due to neglect - the owners simply not making any investment into keeping it up. It may be a result of simple age because we all know nothing lasts forever. Or maybe it is just occurs because of a lack of resources - the owners unable to keep it up because their source of income dried up due to a turn of events. Regardless, the building could just stand in total ruin - beyond repair. The most desirable thing for the owner to do is to tear it down. As the dilapidated building stands in that state of ruin or disrepair, it becomes a fire hazard, an entrapment potential, and an eye-sore.

Have you observed the condition of your "barns" lately? I am not speaking of a literal "barn" here - but the condition of your mind, emotions, and spirit. You see, our minds are like big "barns" - housing all kinds of "stuff" we "put away" for future use. Without the proper "maintenance", these "barns" fall into disrepair. Our emotions are like the house that once provided shelter to the many inhabitants - they can be warm and welcoming, or turn cold and scary when left without attentive care. The spirit is where we make connection with God - like the barns of old, it becomes a storehouse of great comfort when times are lean.

The "barns" of our life don't "fall into" disrepair overnight. They are "worn down" by what the "elements of life" throw at them. They stand in need of repair because the investment of time and energy is no longer made to "keep them up". They no longer seem to serve us well - simply because we have neglected them so long! The only hope for "repair" is outside of our control - so we need to go to God with the request: "Build me up again!" There is a state of mind, a condition of our soul, and a desperation in our spirit that makes God the only hope for our "repair". In Christian circles, we call this being "restored" - being brought back to useful / productive condition. Our only hope for restoration is if God does the work. How does God choose to do this work of restoration? It is through the skillful application of his Word. The Word is the source of all we need to go from a place of dilapidation in mind, emotions, or spirit, into a place of restored usefulness.

We often don't know the condition of our "barns" because we don't stand back long enough to see them through the eyes of another. This is why God gives us accountability partners in life - people who help us see the true condition of our "barns". We are too close to our "barns" every day. Those that pass by or through our lives, observing it from "outside", have the "bird's eye view" of the place. They see the missing shingles, the blown off roofing tin, the leaning beams, and the cracked seams in the mortar. Maybe it is time for a full "inspection" of our barns! In order to recognize the need for repair, we often need the insight of another set of eyes! Just sayin!

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