I pray that the day is finding you well.
Paper or plastic?
I found myself at the store the other day and I am standing in line waiting. It seems as though I have the uncanny gift to go to the store when it is at its busiest. I like to joke with my wife that I don’t know how everyone knows when I’m going to be at the store. I live in a small town and it seems that every time I go to the store I run into a variety of people that want to talk. Many times the conversation surrounds kids, family, the weather. Often times they ask me to pray and share times of difficulty with me.
So I am standing in line waiting, and I look around and this is what I see. I see moms with their kids. I see dads with their kids.
I am standing in line waiting, and this is what I don’t see. I don’t see moms and dads with their kids.
I begin to take a closer look.
I don’t see the rings on the fingers anymore; something has changed in the dynamic of some of the families. Not everyone at once mind you, but every time I go to the store I notice something amiss.
I am reminded of a book that I once read, “Those that stayed behind.” It is a book about the depression. It is a book about the dustbowl. It is a book very unlike the “The Grapes of Wrath.” It is a book about the people that didn’t go away. It is a book about the ones that stayed behind.
While the depression and resulting catastrophes that it caused to society and to families was a terrible thing, there are many lessons that we can take from it. One lesson is that know matter how bad things may get or how unhappy one may become we are not alone. There are people that still count on them. There are people that love them.
I’m not talking about people living in abuse. I’m talking about people that give up on people. I’m talking about people that start seeing greener pastures, or so they think, and decide that they will leave. I am talking about people that have made a mistake and can’t forgive themselves so they assume the person that they have wronged can’t forgive them and they leave.
Paper or plastic?
We live in a throw away society. We live in a time or recycle. We live in a time were when we are done with it we recycle it back or simply throw it away.
Recycling is good when it comes to paper or plastic. It isn’t so good when it comes to people and families.
Many have been recycled, many have been thrown away.
In the midst of being recycled there is nothing that anyone can say that will make a recycled person feel better. Every piece of advice seems trite. The best that we can do is just stand with this person and be there for them. The act of praying with them gives them a sense of peace and that they are loved.
There are a couple of verses that seem to help. One is Joshua 1:5 “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Just knowing that no matter what God is with you and will never leave you gives you a place to go to lament. The other is Jeremiah 29:11 “11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Remembering that when Nebuchadnezzar took the Jews into captivity there were many that were just everyday Jews that had kept His word and loved Him that were taken with all the rest. They must have been saying, “Why me, what did I do?” knowing that God was telling the people that had been taken into captivity that He is there with them and that better days are ahead is a comfort.
Paper or plastic?
Being recycled is a challenge. But a very wise person once said, “It isn’t the challenge that defines you. It is your response to the challenge that defines you."
Will you let darkness win? Will you dwell on evil thoughts, on how to get even?
Will you let light win? Will you set your mind on the things above:
Colossians 3:1 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
Just remember that Christ loves you, will you love Him back?
Or in the midst of your pain have you recycled Christ?
Something to think about.