Trash or Treasure

1 Timothy 1:16 – But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. (NIV)

A gentleman whom I see on a regular basis shared with me that he was quite excited about the possible purchase of a sailboat that he was going to see at the end of his work day. A few days passed until I saw him again. After greetings, the natural question was, "Did you buy the sailboat?" His reply was, "Well, sort of. We did a trade." The other person had bought the sailboat with the intention of fixing it up as a hobby. But as the years passed, so did the hobby, so he decided either to sell it to someone who shared a love of sailing and repairing it, or else to send it to the scrap yard. My friend made the decision to buy it, and then came the question, "Can I pick it up in a week? I have an old car that is sitting in the spot where I want to place the boat, and I need to sell it or send it to the scrap yard." The other person now became intrigued. "What are you selling?" They shared the details and made a deal to trade item for item with each other. As he related this story to me, he said, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." They are both very pleased, and they both have a project to work on that is special to their heart.

This analogy speaks so clearly to me about the kingdom of God, as the following verse tells us:

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV)

While we were still trash, Christ saw treasure in us. The love, loyalty, devotion, praise, and worship that we could give to Him is so valuable that it was worth it for Him to die for us. As we draw closer to Him, He draws closer to us — who wouldn't want that for their life? This is where the peace, the love, and the desire to follow Him come from. And why would we not want others to experience this in their lives? We need to catch God's heart on this: He doesn't play favourites. God also sees treasure in the very people whom we disregard as "trash" and pass by on the other side.

That's why we need to witness to people like this whom we see on a regular basis. It's my heart's desire to be able to share God's kingdom. I pray for the right opportunity to witness to such people, and I know that it will be God's timing that will make their hearts open to receive. It's all about taking time to listen and to watch for opportunities to be a witness. We may only be a seed planter in their life. Knowing when and how to witness are challenges we face. For some, it comes easily; for others not so much. But the Spirit of God is the One Who does the work.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that we have Your Word to help guide us on our journey. We want to be a witness at all times about You, Lord. Continue to prompt us and give us opportunity to do this. May we rest in all situations, knowing that we have done our best according to Your will. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Julie Bowles