Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Waste Not, Want Not

I'm sure you've heard the old saying, "waste not, want not".

My mother was as dependable as a rock about quoting this particular saying whenever I sat at the table with a plate of liver and onions in front of me or anytime my plate was home to some sort of creature that used to reside in the sea. (Hmm....looking back on it, the fact that I'm now a vegetarian isn't that odd, after all. But, I digress).

The point then and now is simply this.

It you don't use something in its entirety,
if you fail to
guzzle the very last drop,
swallow the very last crumb,
squeeze out the very last bit,
you may later find yourself coming up short and wishing you had.
You might find yourself  "wanting".

Today, as I was driving home from work, listening to my favorite Christian radio station, a short, simple, to the point statement by the DJ got me thinking.

"Nothing is wasted in God's Kingdom."

The word nothing always gets me thinking.  When used in conjunction with God's Kingdom, my mind simply had no choice but to whirl this thought around and around and around.

Nothing.

If nothing is wasted, then everything must be used.

Right?

As this idea tried to wind its way from my head to my heart, I thought about one of the most quoted scriptures of the Bible.

And we know that all things 
work together for good 
to them that love God, 
to them who are the called according to his purpose.
~Romans 8:28



All things.  Everything.  Nothing wasted.

God has a purpose for every single thing in our life.

The good.

The bad.

The happy.

The sad.

It is God's desire to use them all for good.
Sometimes, though, I wonder if I thwart His plan.

Sometimes,
when I go through a heartache,
Value Unused = Waste
{Photo Credit}
instead of allowing God to use it for good,
in bitterness or anger,
I turn up my nose,
push it away,
and turn my back on the whole thing.

Sometimes,
when I don't want to suffer,
I waste the heartache,
because instead,
I willfully choose to
detour around the purpose in the pain,
miss out on the lesson in the tears,
and sadly,
forgo the blessing that is waiting to be squeezed out.

I want what I want and in my wanting I end up in want.

As a child, I didn't want to eat my liver and onions - no matter how many times my mother told me they would give me iron or assured me they were "good" for me.  And, because I didn't want to, sometimes (when my stubbornness won out and my mom was wore out) I didn't. Instead, I went to bed hungry and in want of something to fill my stomach and ease my hunger pains.

It's the same spiritually.

There is nothing wasted in God's Kingdom...
UNLESS, you and I choose to waste the blessing God has placed before us.

You and I won't walk away from the table of God's will hungry and still in need of spiritual nourishment
UNLESS, we choose to refuse the feast God has served us.

Now, as an adult, I am mindful of mindlessly throwing away that which can be salvaged, recycled, or re-used.  I try to be a good steward of the money and the possessions God has lavished upon me.

Shouldn't the same be true in my spiritual life?

A chance to comfort others with the comfort I've been given,
an opportunity to learn from the pain and grow in the strain,
an invitation to become more like Jesus through it all,
all these are too priceless
to throw out the backdoor of my heart,
and into the dumpster of life.

How I (and possibly you, too)
need to glean all I can from the ALL of my life.
How I (and possibly you, too)
need to reach out, embrace, and guzzle up every last drop of the pain.
How I (and possibly you, too)
need to reach down, pull out all the stops,
and squeeze out every last bit of blessing from each and every teardrop.

How I (and possibly you, too)
need to
endure,
persevere,
press on,
so, in the end,
we won't be found in want,
but rather,
we will be found in Him,
in Christ Jesus,
complete, and lacking nothing*. ~♥

* James 1:4




 
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