From Trash to Beautiful Treasure
Colossians 2:13 “You were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self. But God gave you new life together with Christ. He forgave all our sins.” ERV
My doorbell rang one evening and there, on my porch, stood a gentleman unfamiliar to me. Our introductions revealed he taught at the middle school down the road. Curiously, his purpose in stopping by our house lay discarded in our ditch. You see, several weeks prior, a large walnut tree had fallen in our front yard and out by the road now lay a mountain of decaying tree parts awaiting metro rubbish pick-up.
The man’s request was a simple one: He desired some of the discarded wood from our ditch. Honestly, I must admit to being amused by his courtesy in asking such a request, because, let’s face it, when was the last time I refused to let someone haul off my trash? Like, never! He thanked me for the “gift” and left me standing at the door puzzled over his gratitude for what I had discarded. But, I soon closed the door on this thought, assuming I would never see him again.
A few weeks later, my doorbell rang and there on the porch stood this same man, clutching the most exquisite wooden bowl I had ever seen. He thanked me again for the privilege of receiving my tree trash, and as I stared at the bowl in his hand, his purpose in hauling off the dead tree parts was evident: Somehow, this man had turned my trash into a beautiful treasure.
Handing me the bowl, he explained that he had come to realize it was more blessed to give than to receive and he wanted me to have the bowl. We chatted on the porch as he spoke of the joy it brought him turning the block of discarded wood into a new creation; the bowl I now held in my hands.
As I look at that bowl proudly displayed in my home today, I cannot help but think how much we have in common with that walnut tree. Away from the nourishment of its roots, that tree died. Once dead, it was of no use and discarded as trash. Our lives can be like that. God is our source of life, but away from God, we become spiritually dead and useless to his kingdom. We deserve to be cast out by God. But, gratefully, that is not how God’s redeeming love works. Like the master artist created a beautiful new bowl from dead wood, God’s loving redemption takes us fallen beings, gives us new life, and recreates us for His glorious purpose. And sisters, no one is better at redeeming the old, the worn out, and the dead than our loving Father.
Father God, thank you for loving us enough to sacrifice your son in order to redeem us, bringing us back to you. As a new creation, may we gratefully live a life that glorifies you.