I got to go back to my Celebrate Recovery group tonight after having missed two weeks due to the seizures and then us all getting sick over here. Tonight was a lesson night and I really liked the main analogy that was used at the begining.
We were told about an old, rusty, beat up coke can. It was covered in dirt, bent up beyond repair, and even had holes in it. Not too incredibly long ago, this can would have been deemed worthless and thrown in the trash. It had no value any more and it was dealt with accordingly.
Then recycling came along. Over the years we have learned about how to see that beat up old can in a whole new light. Where as it’s still true that in it’s current state it isn’t of much use, we now no longer see it as worthless or destined for the trash. We see the hidden potential behind all the scruffs, scratches, and dents. We see the new life waiting for it if someone only takes the time to invest in the can to help it get there. We see possibilities, hope, new beginnings, brighter futures.
We also know though what it will take to get the can there. Crushing, melting, purifying, molding. The can has a hard journey ahead of it if it wants to be made into something new.
Now think of that can as you and me. We’ve been hurt, damaged, broken, and bruised. We have scars from unimaginable pains and some of us have so many holes that have been shot through our self esteem and self image, we can’t even stand up anymore, let alone stand tall. We’re worn out, weary, and in need of rest. We’ve known heartache, abuse, neglect, addiction, shame, and more. We’re over burdened by life’s harsh reality. We’re crippled and laying low from life’s repeated blows. Society sees us and thinks we’re useless. They use terms like “has been”, “yesterday’s news”, “worthless”, “reject”, and countless others.
Now some of us may be better than others at hiding the hurt and pain. We might be better at keeping society in general, and sometimes even our friends and family, from seeing anything past the fake smile we plaster on our faces to help us get through the days. It’s still there though, and we know it all to well. And we still here the labels. The name calling and rejection still rings loudly in our minds and hearts even though no one may say it out loud.
Then, we encounter Jesus. The One Who loves us so much and so deeply that He reaches through all the muck and mire, through all the mud slinging and shame, through all the secrets and fake smiles, and He gently knocks on the doors of our hearts and offers an invitation.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will
come in and eat with him, and he with Me.”
He’s offering to be our friend, our brother, our comrade. He’s offering a listening ear, a caring heart, and warm fellowship. But get this. He’s not stopping there! He also loves us so much that He’s holding out His hand to us, inviting us to allow Him to change us. Just like the recycling process changes that old beat up can, Jesus is offering to take our battered, wounded, and beat up hearts and lives and turn us into something totally new.
The process isn’t easy and it has it’s painful moments to be sure. Just like that can, we’ll have to allow our old selves and our old ways to be broken down, melted away, and purified. We have to be willing to let all that pain and hardship be placed in the hands of our loving Savior so that He can push it through the fire of healing and purifying and then turn around and mold it into something more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.
Don’t worry, unlike the can who pretty much goes through the whole process without much thought from the recycle worker, you and I are not alone. Our Recycler (Jesus Christ) takes a very personal interest in us and walks along side us the entire way. Holding our hand, carrying us through the rough patches that are too much for us to bear, encouraging us and keeping our hope and love alive by reminding us of His love and the future He has planned for us.
And the end result? A whole new life. A whole new creation. Endless possibilities. A brand new beginning. A brighter future. And a heart that has been hand delivered and molded by the master potter Himself with the greatest love mankind has ever known.
You see God never wastes a single hurt. There is not a single tear that falls that He doesn’t want to heal and redeem. Not a single broken heart He doesn’t long to hold in His hands and comfort and nourish back to wholeness and beauty. He tells us that He is close to the broken hearted and that He gives strength to the weary.
The only catch is, He won’t force this on us. Unlike that old and tattered can, we get to have a choice. Will you answer His knocking? Will you let Him in? Will you trust Him to take your pain and scars, your dark closets and hidden memories? I promise the end result will be nothing short of beautiful if you do. God specializes in turning brokeness into stunning glory. Will you let Him do it for you? : )