Trash to Treasure

A few weeks ago I had a children’s sermon that focused on God doing things when we were not looking.  I had in my bag a little daffodil bulb and a pot of bulb that had been forced and were in bloom.  The plan was to bring out the bulb first and then the flowers to talk about the bulbs being buried and forgotten; yet God was causing them to grow.  Children’s sermons often go a different direction than intended.  That may be the nature of the beast.  It makes it scary for the minister and entertaining for the congregation.  I pulled the bulb out of my bag and asked, “Does anyone know what this is?”  A four-year-old boy looked at it disdainfully and said, “It’s trash!”  When the laughter subsided I made some kind of recovery and got to my point.  I think it was OK, but this week I’ve been thinking of that sermon—not mine but the four-year-old’s.  I needed that sermon this week.  I’ve been facing a lot of stuff that really feels like trash.

This week I’ve been walking through some stuff with several people that none of us wants.  It feels awful.  I’ve caught myself looking out the window and asking, “God where are you in all of this?  That sermon by the four-year-old was better than the one this seminary graduate prepared {I hate it when that happens! ;-)}.

We’ve been wading through stuff that feels like trash; stuff we’d like to throw away, stuff we think stinks; stuff we can’t imagine having any good in it, but stuff that really is necessary.  I’m reminded of the promise that God has taken the junk of the crucifixion: false accusation, power gathering, abandonment by friends, etc. and turns it into the resurrection and our salvation.  But today it is hard to trust God for that.  It just seems like trash.  It is hard to see how any good can come out of it.   We are all sitting around saying, “If we’d just done this” or “If they’d just have done that.”  But the road has been straight toward the dump—toward trash.

I wonder how the disciples felt on the Saturday after Good Friday.  Were they hopeless?  They had given up everything; families, careers, friends, and now there was nothing.  Jesus was dead and they were going to be hunted down as fugitives.  I really doubt that they sat around encouraging each other that something good was coming.

But you and I live on this side of the resurrection.  God didn’t undo the crucifixion, but He did turn it on it’s head.  He asks us to trust Him because of what he did then.  I suppose if I could figure a good path forward, it would not be God’s work but just our creativity.  We need to see God’s redemption.

Last night as I left the grocery store after picking some things up on the way home, the median outside the store was covered with yellow and white.  Daffodils in bloom!  I hope I can remember what God can do with trash—and trust.


3 responses to “Trash to Treasure

  1. I heard that sermon, and there is something I wanted to share with you. If you take that bulb and cut it in half, inside you will find the flower and leaves already formed. The tiny little petals, stubby little leaves, all just waiting the right conditions and time to grow. So many metaphors in that simple little bulb. Beauty wrapped in trash, love just needing the right conditions and a little time, to grow and blossom.

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