Please excuse the title but after careful consideration and some alone time with God, I find it only fitting to use the word junk.
Do you ever struggle to find the “why”, “what”, and “when” to every unwanted thing in your life? Since it’s healing to confess to another, I’ll admit that I spend way too much time wrestling with why something happened the way it did, what I’m suppose to do when things don’t look the way I’d hoped, and when will I finally settle in and settle down my mind, so that I can start living that abundant and satisfying life that I’m suppose to be living. “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10
It was in a moment of asking why, what and when that God met me at the intersection of frustrated and hopeless street. Maybe you’re familiar with the intersection? I was in the process of trying to convince God- it wasn’t me, it was them, when He politely interrupted my well thought out- prize winning speech to impart some words of wisdom to the situation. “You are holding on to the past mistakes and offenses of others as a treasure, instead of handing them over to me, to forgive and redeem.”
A treasure is something of value and something that you’d want to put in a safe place. Was I really holding on to those things that were further wounding me as a treasure for safe- keeping?
Fast-forward a few days to Sunday. This particular morning, praise and worship ushered in the presence of God, along with a picture or vision that would reveal some life-changing truth. It’s not an everyday occurrence for me to receive such a clear portrait, so I knew that God had something of great importance for me to grab hold of.
There I was, standing at the foot of a large cross. Gazing down at my feet, I began to notice scattered all around me, things in my life that I’ve spent countless hours (months and years) wrestling with. As I kneel down to begin gathering and tiding up those things that belong to me, an older gentleman appears with a bag filled to the brim. It’s a raggedly old bag- torn and tattered. By the looks of it, he’s been here before. He bends over just enough to allow the strap of the bag to slide smoothly off his shoulder, and with the greatest of ease, he lays his bag down, and turns to walk away. I notice he doesn’t look back, so I call out to him, “hey, sir, you left your things.” He glances my way with a confused look on his face. I repeat myself, “you left your bag.” Realizing what I had said, he replies, “Those things are to be left at the cross, never to be picked up again- the owner of the cross will know what to do with them.” Suddenly, I hear a soft whisper that appeared to be coming from high above the cross, “those who truly lay their hurts at the foot of the cross are the ones that walk away free.”
As I pondered those words, I was reminded of the previous words the Lord spoke to me earlier that week, “You are holding on to the past mistakes and the offenses of others as a treasure, instead of handing them over to me to forgive and redeem.”
I realized in that moment that I had become a junk collector!
I was holding on to the junk in my life as it were of value-taking all my cares, concerns, and chaos to the foot of the cross, only to kneel down and pick them up again. Instead of walking away free, I walked away holding the junk closer to my heart like a treasure to be admired and kept safe. If I’m honest, maybe I was holding on to those things that I was suppose to leave at the cross as justification for the anger I felt, or the forgiveness that I wasn’t willing to give. And then maybe I held onto the junk because, I didn’t trust God enough to leave it in his care for fear he’d forget there was work to be done. Whatever the case for my junk collecting, it has been weighing me down, holding me hostage, and keeping me from a life of joy and peace.
What if I started trusting that God meant what he said, “cast all your cares”, “don’t be afraid”, “don’t worry”…and what if I started living as if I really believed that God will work all things for my good (even those things that look beyond repair); that he has a great plan for my life, and that nothing can separate me from his unconditional love.
Could I challenge you (and myself) to abandon all human reasoning and to begin to live in the perfect assurance that God is who he says he is; and that God will do what he promises in his word that he’ll do.
Can we can lay it ALL down at the foot of the cross-not staying to oversee the project or give God instructions or suggestions on how to work it out, but instead, turning and walking away in total freedom- trusting God to do the impossible when it looks like nothing is possible.
I don’t know why certain things happen, and I don’t know when God will do certain things in my life or yours, but I do know what I’m going to start doing (with a little reminder from a wise woman that holds me accountable for every word I write)…I will start every day casting my cares on Jesus, standing firm in God’s faithfulness, and resting in his unconditional love.