Setting Out the Trash

All of us are familiar with how trash collection works. The sanitation department comes around once a week (twice if you recycle) and picks up our garbage. In our area, once a month, the truck comes around for what’s called “bulk trash,” which is trash that wouldn’t fit in our garbage cans. The week of bulk trash pick up is always interesting as people set out what they think of as junk. It’s like bringing the goodwill to your neighborhood!

Some set out furniture they no longer want or equipment somewhat damaged. But during that week, certain people would simply drive around neighborhood as if they’re window shopping. One time, I saw a man with a trailer full of items that have been set out on the sidewalk for bulk trash pick up. This individual personified the popular quote, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!”

As a Christian, my life at one time was junk. It was useless. It had no direction. I was set out on the curb for anyone to take. Satan had his way with me and destroyed my life to a point that I didn’t think anyone would want me, let alone love me. I was damaged goods!

But a seeking Saviour named Jesus came by the curb of my life and asked, “Wilt thou be made whole?” The first time He asked through a classmate who had recently been born again (in an all-boys Catholic school, of all places), I said, ‘no.’ The pleasures of sin pulled me strongly still. I had not yet realized the treasures possessed by one who trusts Christ. Praise God Jesus kept coming around!

The circumstances of life led me to Lacey, Washington. From a school of a few thousand students to a student body of 37! That’s where Jesus would keep tugging at my heart.

Finally, on October 4, 1992, I let Jesus to pick me up from the curb. I said, ‘yes,’ to His invitation. I was gloriously saved! But what about by tattered and battered life? What can God possibly do?

Songwriters Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsay said it this way:

He (God) asked if I would give my all I trembled and replied, “There’s not much here that you would want, just fragments of a life I’ve wasted so much through the years on choices that just brought me tears. Everything I ever gained, I’ve lost.” But here I am with empty hands at Calvary’s cross. And He said, “I’ll take what’s left what’s broken and shattered, I’ll find the pieces you have lost I’ll take what’s left no matter where they’ve scattered I’ll take you just the way you are. There’s no need to spend another day feeling like you do I’ll take what’s left and make it new.”

When Jesus picked me up from life’s curb as junk, His intention wasn’t to recycle me. He renewed me! God gloriously changed my life, gave it purpose and direction. When others saw me as junk, God saw me as a treasure. What a thought! But more importantly, what a God!

The next time you feel like quitting on someone, think about your junky past and see them through the eyes of God. As we carry out the commission of Christ, may we seek to restore and renew the broken lives on life’s curbs through the saving power of the Gospel of Christ. One life’s junk is definitely God’s treasure (Romans 5:8).

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