“Come to him, a living stone … chosen and precious in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 2:4
This scripture reminds me of the old story “Princess and the Pea.”
“A long time ago in a kingdom far away, there lived a young prince who had just turned 21 years of age. His name was Prince Peter. He longed so for a bride. He asked his parents, “Is it time, right now, for me to get married?”
His mother, the Queen, who was a very kindly queen said, “Yes, I guess it is. But make sure that the girl you choose is a princess—a real princess.”
So the search began. They began looking all over the kingdom for a real princess. Many young women came to the castle, but the Queen was not interested in them because not one could prove that she was a real princess.
One day there was quite a storm that came over the kingdom. It was the type of storm where the rain came down in buckets and the lightning flashed across the sky. Out of all this sound that was going on outside, there was a tapping at the castle door.
The King and Queen looked up and asked each other, “Did you hear anything?”
Prince Peter said, “I think that somebody is outside the door.”
They opened up the big door to the castle. Standing out there was a small, soaking wet young woman. She looked up and said, “Hello. I have come because I am a real princess.”
She didn’t look like a real princess. She was soaking wet. Her clothes were just hanging on her.Her soaking wet hair was hanging down in her face.
But the Queen said, “Come in, my dear. Tonight we won’t worry about whether you’re a real princess or not. We’re going to get you dried off. After you’ve had a good night’s sleep, we’ll decide if you’re a real princess or not.”
Then, the Queen called over the head chambermaid and said, “Do exactly as I say. I want you to put a small, dried pea right in the middle of the bed. Then, on top of that small, dried pea, I want you to put 20 of our softest feather mattresses.”
The chambermaid did exactly as she said. When the young woman went into the room after her bath, she had to look up at the bed because all of these mattresses practically went to the ceiling. (She did not know about the small, dried pea underneath them all.) So, she climbed up a step ladder and got into the center of the bed.
While she was sleeping, all the servants were busy drying and ironing her clothes. The next morning when she got up and came down to breakfast, she looked more like a princess than anyone that they had seen. She was beautiful.
The Queen looked up and said, “My dear, how did you sleep?”
The young woman said, “Well, I do not mean to be impolite, but I didn’t sleep a wink. No matter which way I turned, I felt a lump in the middle of the bed. I tossed and turned all night long.”
The Queen looked at Prince Peter and Prince Peter looked at the Queen . . . but he was looking more at the young princess by now. Soon they were married, and they lived happily ever after.”
We all have probably read or at least heard this story – this little dried pea in the middle of the bed of so many feather mattresses. No one who laid in the bed could have possibly feel that pea. It actually was probably impossible.
But let’s put this little story in modern times and modern interpretation.
What if this story is not about a little pea in the bottom of the mattress but rather it is about a thought or a feeling deep inside of us. That dried up pea is really an old dried up thought or negative feeling like anger or resentment
Oh, how we have tried to stuff it, cover it up because it hurts to bring it up. So we push it further and further and cover it with so many years of living. But it is still there; and sometimes, we wake up and start thinking about it for no reason. The tossing and turning begins. No sleep this night. That small dried up pea – that pea-sized thought remains within us. It’s still there, and it’s still pushing out. It’s still affecting you. You don’t really even know what it is anymore because it is has been pushed so far down, for so long.
“But what is pushed down, pushes up. It is like trying to hold the beach ball underneath the water the further you push it down, the harder it tries to pop back up.”
You see, we learn to stuff our thoughts. If something really hurts, don’t let anyone know it, just hold it in, stuff it. We learn that if we do that, it just won’t hurt any more. But that is incorrect reasoning. It really will keep bubbling up and out all the time; and it always hurts. And over time, it may just hurt us physically by really affecting our health.
Well, the princess couldn’t rest. She felt discomfort. The princess was royalty. But you know what? You are also royalty. Oh, you may not really feel too much like a royal person right now because you have so many of these wrong reasoning inside that tells you otherwise.
I claim this as truth due to the teachings and the authority of the authority of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “You are a child of God.” You are a king/queen. The only thing that keeps us from accepting that fully in our awareness – is our awareness – of the small, dried-up wrong reasonings that are inside of us. These small outdated thoughts make us think that we are less than we are. They make us uncomfortable during the day, and often make us toss and turn at night.
God has granted us some wonderful gifts. “The gift of God is rest; a mental cleansing that gives a good night’s sleep. The gift of God is a confidence from deep within to allow you to do things that you wouldn’t dream that you could do.
The gift of God is that extra foundation strength that is inside of you that is firm; that you know that you can stand on when you’re facing some adversity.”
All life outside of you is an echo. Remember the images of the person standing on one mountain and shouting and then the echo would come back? Well, all life outside of you is an echo of everything that is inside of you in your awareness.
Even the small, dried-up thoughts, (the old, error thoughts that we should have cleansed out long ago), are STILL in there. They have a small voice, but it comes back many times largely magnified. Every thought inside of our heads is like a seed. It can grow into something that is way, way out of proportion as the years go on if we give it the power.
“There is a wonderful story that author Emmett Fox tells about a big old bear going into a campground. This big old bear is hungry. He sees a cast iron pot on the fire. The lid is just dancing because of all the heat. The bear licks his chops. He comes into the campground and puts his arms around the kettle. And interesting thing happens next.
That bear is scalded and burned so badly. The normal thing to do would be to scream and to drop the kettle. But a bear’s only defense is hugging. So, as the kettle begins to hurt the bear, he does the one thing that it can do . . . it hugs the kettle tighter, to the undoing of the bear.
But, you know, we do the same thing. When something hurts us, we push that back down fast so that it is not in our face. In doing that, it can live inside of us to come up another day.”
Think about the soft drink Seven-Up. I am sure you have seen, tasted, felt the bubbles in that drink. The television commercial really shows that they continually bubble up. Well, that is our consciousness. Our hurts, our pains, our resentments keep bubbling up and giving us a chance to deal with them (not push them down again). We have the opportunity to resolve them before they so affect us negatively.
Jesus Christ talks about the inside of you and what we should do with these small, dried-up thoughts.
In Matthew 23, [verses 25-26], Jesus Christ says, “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees for you cleanse the outside of the cup and the plate, but the inside is full of extortion and rapacity [covetous]. You blind Pharisee. First cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean.”
So do you think Jesus is teaching us how to clean our plate or how to do the dishes? We laugh, but no, he’s talking about our minds, our personalities, and, really the whole human condition – and He’s talking about your mind and mine.
He’s talking about how we spend so much time dressing up, putting on our makeup, fixing our hair, and doing everything we have been taught to groom ourselves. BUT, we forget about the cleansing of our mind. And that is the most important thing – the interior so much more than the interior The exterior will take care of itself once the inside is clean.
The second part of that teaching is talking about the exterior of all of your life. We spend so much time trying to clean that up. If we cleaned up the inside of us, the whole outside would be clean.
And in verse 27 [of Matthew] Jesus says, “For you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and uncleanliness.” We have a lot of old, dead ideas, resentments, hurts inside of us. It’s time, now, to cleanse those out of our consciousness.
Look at this same teaching from a different Gospel, clarifying this even more. Luke 11:39-40, “And the Lord said to him, now you Pharisees, cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness. You fools. Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?”
God can heal our bodies. But God can also heal what is deep inside of our hearts and souls. Pray to God to completely wash the inside of your cup. Some pray for God to heal their depression, their emotional state. Many are down because of those old dried up thoughts churning around. God made the inside of you also and God can heal that once and for all. It’s a HUGE thing to you, but nothing to God. Just ask for, and accept an inside healing.
Jesus goes on and tells us how to do it. He said, “Give for alms those things which are within, and behold everything is clean for you.”
What does it mean to ‘give for alms?’ It means to give freely. So, I believe that when those old things come up, instead of pushing them down because they hurt us, give up freely and let those old thoughts be gone once and for all. See those bubbles in the Seven-up glass. All you have to do is drink from the cup and they will be gone. God can even pop those bubbles when you drink from His cup.
So, when they come up we have the opportunity to examine those thoughts. Then, we have a choice. Our choice is to cleanse or push down again and re-pollute.
“Once upon a time there was a giant Maytag washing machine as big as your whole kitchen. It cleaned clothes beautifully. But when it went into the spin cycle and started to drain out its water, it pumped it back into the machine the dirty water instead of draining it out, and dirtied the clothes again with the dirty water. We do the same with soiled memories; we have an opportunity to eliminate these old thoughts when they come up.”
Old anger thoughts often push up and out as illness in the body, sluggishness and fatigue. We must take care of our consciousness, or our souls if you will, as well as our bodies.
Thoughts occupy space; you might not think that that a tiny, dried-up old thought inside of you is going to come through all those layers of the years. But they do.
“A man bought a brand new trash can for his house. He always put the trash in bags and tied them tightly. Yet, when he opened the lid, it would almost knock him over with the smell. He couldn’t understand why. Finally he got brave enough to stick his head in that trash can and look around. He found a little piece of rotten banana peel about the size of a dime.”
You might think, “Well, I have so many good thoughts inside of my mind. But, occasionally one of those old thoughts creeps up. Surely, if I push that back down and don’t deal with it, it won’t hurt the rest of the thoughts because I’m getting more good thoughts all the time.”
One small thought inside can pollute you. Now is the time that we must also do a mental housecleaning.
You have authority! You have authority over every thought and feeling within you. Take the reins of those out-of-control thoughts. Every night before going to bed, deal with the thoughts that have not been up to the Christ standard about you that day. Simply say, “NO!”
I’m going to close with these words from Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, BUT BE TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind. that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect of God.
There were lots of other princesses that slept on that bed. They probably didn’t have a good night’s sleep either. But they didn’t want to admit it. Therefore, they didn’t get to marry the prince. We are in this life to become better on the inside; it is our hidden curriculum, but it will also reflect for all to see.
Jesus provides the way, the truth, the life. Drink from His cup and release those old dried up hurts. A little dried up pea does not need to keep you awake at night.
It is time to stop tossing and turning. Start enjoying life. Life is a joy. Live each day that way.
Pray with me.
Dear God, I ask that old embedded thoughts will come up and out so that I have an opportunity to examine each.
Help me now to empower and strengthen myself through Your grace to follow this process. Help me realize that old thoughts, as they come up, are disarmed and defenseless. They have no power to hurt me. Help us, Father, to be empowered during this process. Help us to smile again in all areas of our life.
Lord, I depend on you as I begin this process. Let me walk with You through the recesses of my mind and clean the interior of my cup. Help the cleansing and let the renewal be at hand.
Praise be to You, O Lord.
In Jesus Christ’s name . . . Amen.