I bought a famous ‘Big Burger’ from the fast-food restaurant the other day and noticed that the little carton that it came in said, “made from 100% recycled paper!” Now I’m not so sure that I like the idea of my hamburger being wrapped in recycled paper, but more and more companies are using recycled products.
It got me to thinking, while it's amazing what engineers can do with recycled trash; it’s much more amazing what God can do to recycle the trash of our lives. He can recycle the worst things that ever happened to you and make it into something wonderfully useful - and even beautiful.
God’s recycling process is described in II Corinthians 1:3-4,
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies all mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God"
In other words God gives you His resources to help you get through your times of trouble and in so doing, He prepares you to be in a position to help other hurting people.
God's recycling process for our lives is simple. First, you experience God's forgiving love, His comfort and healing and then, you use the garbage of the past to help others, to comfort others, to challenge others, and to give hope to others. If you've been wounded, abused or abandoned; if you've experienced deep loss, grief, struggle or handicaps, you have the credentials because of your pain to be one to be listened to because of what you've been through. Now for this recycling process to take place you must be willing to take your eyes off yourself, to look beyond your own hurt to the hurts of others. You must be willing to open up all those wounds of anger, self-pity and doubt and let God's mercy and grace come flooding in. But if you reach beyond yourself and open up to God's recycling process, you become uniquely prepared to be a healer in a hurting world!
My friends, it's amazing what God’s recycling can do for us. He can actually use the garbage and hurts of the past to help others. Are you allowing God to take the garbage of your life and recycle it into something beautiful? I urge you to consider today that God can bring meaning to your most painful situations and hope for someone else's despair.