Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
This past week or so, tons of eggs and milk have been recalled in the Oregon and Washington area due to salmonella. Store shelves became completely emptied of the contaminated products; thrown into the garbage so they couldn’t be purchased and cause more sickness.
A couple things came to mind with this recall. One, I am so thankful we buy farm fresh eggs from my friend’s mom. We have no worries about our eggs, knowing they are safe.
Second and most importantly, I am so thankful God didn’t recall each and every one of us and throw us in the garbage. As sinners, it’s what we deserve. God didn’t give us what we deserve. Instead, He gave each and every person the choice of renewal.
It doesn’t matter how far down the wrong path you have managed to move; the offer is the same for each and every person. Always present. Always waiting. He’s got more patience than you and I do. He can and will wait forever for you but He wants all of you so much sooner!
Aren’t you glad you are not garbage? Oh, I know we can do a lot of things that certainly make us feel like we are garbage and may even make some judge us as garbage but God does not see us as garbage. He doesn’t make garbage.
He sees us as lost sheep; sometimes we need a little nudge to get moving in the right direction and other times we need a swift whack to the rear end to get back on track.
Think you are too far gone for God to use you? Oh my dear friend, you could not be more wrong. You are in a place that can reach people some can never get to. Your story alone will win folks to the Lord because you have experienced their life. They will relate to you. The Lord will use you, if you allow Him.
Will it be easy? No, sorry. Afraid not. Some of those friends will turn their back on you when they see you make changes. It’s going to hurt. Guaranteed. However, they will still see the changes that come over you. It will plant that small little seed in their minds and hearts. Let God work on the rest of that. He’s pretty good at it
You get down to work on you. Pray, pray, and pray some more. Find someone to mentor you and disciple you. You will need to have other believers around you, interceding with prayer on your behalf. You will be under attack. Satan doesn’t like to give up but God’s already won that battle, so you don’t give up!
Be prepared; you will stumble. I think if you are mentally prepared for it, your stumble won’t be you completely falling off a cliff. You won’t be caught unaware and it will be easier to turn back around. Again, this is where the prayer and accountability of other believers will help tremendously. With God, all things are possible.
How do I know any of this to be true? I know some of you who know me (but don’t know me that well) will wonder how on earth a “goody-two shoes” like me could have any knowledge of struggle with substances, immorality etc. While I have never had a substance problem (my struggle is food but that’s a post for another day), I grew up with it in my family, both immediate and extended. Sadly, for some of my extended family, this is still an on-going problem (sadly a family member may be currently dying from alcoholism now).
It was in our home for as long as I can remember. I saw the destruction of alcohol and drug abuse. Even as a small child, I vowed it would never effect me and I would never go down that road myself. As I got older, I realized that I am an addict myself. I knew my personality would easily lead me down the path of substance abuse if I allowed myself that indulgence. I have done my very best to avoid it and it has not come easy. We had friends who were heavily into drinking and drugging. I love those people but I chose to stay sober, even with them.
That doesn’t mean I have never had a drink, or that I don’t have a glass of wine once in a while. The few times in life that I did drink in excess, I was violently ill. That’s enough for me to stay away from it. I don’t like to puke. I avoid it at all costs. Plus, I had a baby at 19 and that saved me from going down a dangerous path because I didn’t want my son to deal with the things I’ve had to growing up.
* I am an addict, even if it is not in the general sense of substance abuse. I will write more on that later. *
You are not garbage. You are not going to be recalled. Instead, you get to be incubated by the Creator. Designed to become righteous and perfect for the One and Only.
Like a freshly hatched chic, you will be like new. With brand new little down feathers that mature and grow into magnificent and perfect wings. Because He chose you to become who and what you are. He chose you to tell your story, as only you can tell it. Even if that means you had to go down a dirty, bumpy road first. Dust yourself off. You two have work to do!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.