The Glory of Garbage

“For the Lord is high above the nations; His glory is higher than the heavens. Who can be compared with the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high? He stoops to look down on heaven and on earth. He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, even the princes of His own people! (Psalm 113:3-8 NLT)

Have you ever felt like rotting garbage? Has the stench of your sin ever made you want to literally throw up? Mine has, and I’m grateful the Lord allowed me to experience that miserable feeling. Why? Because, ironically, it “cleared the air” of my heart and mind to enable me to see Him and understand my need of Him more clearly.

The old adage is usually true: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” One of the major ministries of the Holy Spirit is to illuminate our sin. Why? Because if we don’t know it’s an issue, we’ll make no effort to deal with it, or, more to the point, allow the Lord to work in and through us to deal with it.

Ron Hutchcraft wrote, in reference to King David after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband murdered: “He said, ‘As a result of that, God is going to make the garbage of my life into a ministry.’ Because he said, ‘I will teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will turn back to You.’ Now, there’s a pretty exciting concept to recognize that God can take the garbage of a sin-scarred life and convert it into credentials of His grace.”

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Often, we think our sin signals our demise, and it certainly does without Jesus, but when we bring the “garbage” of our sin and place it at the feet of our all-powerful Savior, something miraculous takes place that only God can do – He redeems our life! In much the same way as Hosea bought back his harlot wife, Jesus “buys us back” from the clutches of the evil one, giving us opportunity to be better than we ever dared dream possible.

Have you sinned in ways you never thought you would? Have you hurt the ones you love the most, and now fear they won’t forgive you? Are you wanting to find a hole to hide your shame, guilt, and misery? Are you begging God just to take you home to Him so you don’t have to face the consequences our your horrible failure? Been there!

Guilt and shame are powerful tools in the hands of the enemy of our soul, but they’re the blocks upon which Jesus builds our new life of hope and promise if we’ll let Him. No, of course, He’s not just going to wave His proverbial “wand” and make it all go away. Sin has consequences and though we’re forgiven and given opportunity to walk in new ways, God rarely delivers us from sin’s hard consequences.

What does that mean? It means not everyone is just going to ignore your betrayal. It means it may cost you your family or job or both. It means you don’t crawl from the garbage dump without the stench of its effects. Yes, of course, Jesus forgives and forgets, but the people you hurt aren’t always going to do that, at least not very quickly.

My wife left and took our kids. I lost my source of income, my house, car, and many of the material possessions I had. In my mind I had nothing left, but the Lord informed me in no uncertain terms, I may have felt like I lost everything, but I hadn’t, because I hadn’t lost Him, and He was all I needed!

Regardless of how bleak things look in your world today, I assure you on the authority of God’s Word and on the basis of my own experience, it’s not the end unless you make it so. God’s open arms of love are waiting to receive you, forgive you, and walk with you into a new, bright, hope-filled future so good you’ll sometimes pinch yourself because you’ll think you’re dreaming.

Let the Lord take the garbage of your life and turn it into His glory – forgiving, restoring, equipping, and commissioning you to become more than you ever dared dream you could be. He did it for me and He’ll do it for you.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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