Today: I am a treasure
Deuteronomy 26:16-18 "The Lord your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with your soul. You have declared this day that the Lord is you God and that you will walk in His ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands, and laws, and that you will obey him. And the Lord has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possessions as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands.
"One man's trash is another man's treasure." ~ author unknown
My daughter, sister-in-law and I spent Memorial Day cleaning my mother-in-law's front porch. Ugh - what a dusty job as we sneezed our way through piles of old cardboard boxes containing fabric, craft supplies and yarn.
My first inclination was to cart the filthy cardboard boxes and their contents to my house where I could toss them in the dumpster without offending Mom. But as we began pawing through them, I discovered many real treasures! One box contained pre-cut quilt squares, just waiting to be stitched together. We also found a few already stitched into pretty pillow tops that just needed stuffing. Of course, they needed to be washed to get rid of the slight musty smell, but someone had gone to a lot of trouble to cut and sew them all. I can always use new throw pillows - or perhaps sell the squares at a yard sale.
Another box held pre-printed fabric panels with designs perfect for making baby quilts for gifts. Again, they had a slight musty smell from being packed away for so long, but the box had protected them from dust and unwanted critters. As I examined them, I refolded the panels and laid them aside, trying to figure out where I could store them. As a pastor's wife, there are always new babies being born to church members and I like to give them gifts.
On and on the afternoon went as we found boxes of stuff - from whole skeins of yarn to small balled up remnants, rolls of quilt batting and even several unfinished quilt tops that were pinned together with batting, ready to be stitched. Cammie found one she loved and asked me to please finish and launder it for her bed.
We never did get to the cupboard that held lengths of quilt fabric and the boxes under the game shelf. That's a job for July 4th when we gather there again! But the point is that the boxes we did manage to sort through held things that were treasures to Mom. As her arthritis became worse, more items were moved to the enclosed porch because she needed the room for her motorized wheelchair, hospital bed and clothes downstairs. She asked us to sort through them hoping her treasures would be passed down to people who would also value them.
While we can't and won't keep everything for lack of storage space, many of her treasures will be valued and used up eventually - not just thrown in the dumpster.
God created man in His image, originally intending him to maintain the earth; to please and enjoy His presence as well as the world He created forever. Sin separated man from God. Much like Mom's treasures which were boxed up and moved to the front porch, sin caused man's heart to become dirty and unusable.
But God isn't content to let His treasures disintegrate with age or disuse. He constantly goes through the dirty, dusty, musty piles of refuse, looking for His treasures so He can wash them and restore them to places of use and honor in His kingdom. He turns the musty, cut up fabric of our lives into beautiful quilts and then uses them to wrap others in His warmth.
How often Satan's trash becomes God's treasure! Consider a person, like the woman taken in the act of adultery. Those around her wanted to trash her life - to stone her because of her sin. But Jesus forgave her and restored her sense of value and worth.
Without His restorative power in our lives, where would we have ended up eternally? Because we have been redeemed, we are privileged to share that trash to treasure story with others. The challenge is before us. Let's get to work!