In March of 2011, my entire family was, unfortunately, struck down by a crazy stomach bug that kept them in bed for days. I guess by God’s good grace I was preserved from this illness so that I could wait on them from top to bottom…LITERALLY…so when I found myself having to drive to a project location to facilitate a safe water committee meeting without my partner at my side or my boys in the backseat homeschooling…well, I must admit, I breathed a long sigh of relief to have a moment of peace. So this is my journey…
The sky was shining bright and brilliant with my favorite color of “Carolina blue,” while the fat, billowy cumulous clouds (we just learned about these in homeschool!) draped the distant mountain tops. Villagers and school children walked the roads to work and school and the sweet smell of a spring flower in bloom filled the truck. Astounded by this much beauty on this early Tuesday morning, my mind went instantly to the Creator of this earth and I began to pray and sing praises to Him.
Anticipating the turn that leads to the school where the water project was being installed and the acrid smell of the dump site that resides at this turn off, I reached for the controls to roll up the window of my truck. I didn’t want to ruin my lovely “moment” with that smell coming inside! So up the windows went! Feeling a sense of accomplishment, I settled in for the rest of the ride when suddenly something caught my eye at the dump site. Most passes by this site just fill me with digust from the smell of rotting waste, but today, my eye caught the most vivid moving colors scattered among the discards of hundreds of homes.
Recognition set in and I quickly realized that these beautiful colors were the clothing of the women from the surrounding village…the clothes they were wearing as they dug through the trash trying to find a treasure of their own. Looking like magnificently cut gemstones amongst the ruin of that place, it caused me to really consider what I had just seen and the visual contrast that it presented. A moment of understanding… that our sin is like that filthy, stinky, disgusting dump…reeking, rancid, and saturated with sickness and ugliness. However, when God looks at us, it is quite like the women picking through the dump. He sees something beautiful, something valuable, like a treasure that was lost in the wasteland. Lovingly and gently, He reaches down His hand to retrieve us from that place and take us home. He cleans us off, fixes us up, then puts us to good use for His purpose…Just like brand new!
In the past, our relationship with God was damaged beyond repair. Our sin had caused separation from God and there was nothing we could DO to undo it. But, God in His grace, reached out to us through Christ. He washed away our sins and reconciled us to himself. As Paul points out in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” Kinda like the dump (discarded), the women (Christ), and the treasure idea (reconciled).
It’s amazing what God will show us when we open our eyes to His beauty…I was so grateful that sun-shiny morning to spend some time “alone” and away from the sickness in my household, never realizing the journey and lesson my Savior had for me.
Thanks for taking a road trip with me! May your life be filled with many reminders of how treasured, how precious you are in His sight!