One of my chores in high school was to take the trash out weekly and prepare it for the garbage man. I struggled to do this consistently, because, for me as a teenager, the walk to the edge of the driveway seemed too far. I can still hear my Aunt Kelly raising her voice for me to get the trash and do my part. Good memories! Sometimes I’d get creative and put all the trash in my car, and then I’d drive it the edge of the driveway for the garbage man. I thought I was innovative and doing great things. Needless to say, I needed help.
Did you have this chore? It stinks. It’s not fun to take everyone’s mess outside, and then you have to clean up the trash area, yeah, I’m still jaded. Yet, trash is interesting because it represents stuff that we are done with but someone else is looking for. The saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ shows the value some don’t see and others do see. We see this at garage sales, flea-markets and more. It reveals a great spiritual truth:
Jesus takes our Trash and turns it into Treasure!
This is the grace of God in our lives. He touches what is ugly, broken, messy and shameful and turns into treasure that He uses. It’s the trash of our lives that gives glory to the grace, mercy and faithfulness of God. The Kingdom of God operates opposite from what we know. For example, we do our best to hide our trash and pretend like it’s not there. We are extremely skilled at our game of hide-and-seek. We are raised to present our best image. The problem is, we are hiding what needs to be healed; therefore, it’s an open wound that’s not healing at all. Too many people live this way, using different things to mask who we are. We end up being trapped by our own hiding.
But there is something better – The Kingdom of God loves our Trash and turns into Treasure.
When we come to Jesus, we don’t have to hide anymore. Nothing we have done or that we are ashamed of will stop His love for us. This is freedom! Therefore, we can come to Him with an open trash can, showing Him all that’s in it, so He can take it all. From here, He begins to lift out one by one the hurt, pain, issues, failures and tendencies that are negative, and turns them into His treasure.
It’s our trash that makes His best stories. It’s our trash that reveals the treasures of His grace and power. It’s our trash that reveals how good He is. In fact, our trash is the greatest light that shines through us. It shows our brokenness and His healing. It’s not our knowledge or pedigree that reaches others, but rather our trash turned to treasure.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.”2 Corinthians 5:17
Will we give Him our trash can?
This is the big question. We are tempted to hide even from Him, who knows all things. It’s our nature to hide like Adam and Eve did when God came looking for them in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8-9). Yet He is waiting on us to come before Him with our trash. It’s at this point that we are free from our shame and the judgement of others, being soaked in His love. This is for you!
Your trash is God’s treasure, so give it to Him. He is making you His artwork of redemption, hope and new beginnings. It’s only possible through Him. I encourage you to be bold about your story, have no shame or fear. Your God loves your trash and using it for His glory. Continue to bring the trash into the light, because each time you do, the darkness is exposed and defeated and we overcome (Revelation 12:11).
The mistakes, the abuse, the addictions, the failures, the secrets, the pain and more are the very things He will use for His glory. Go for it, live in freedom and declare that your trash is His treasure!
Have a great week and the best is yet to come,