It happened a few weeks ago. During an auction I saw it sitting on the ground, footprints all over it. Dirty but readable, I picked it up. It was a car haulers card, but on the reverse was a scripture that I have been thinking about and repeating since that time:
"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Just a discarded card, but a big message. Think about the circumstances of your life today and ask yourself, "Do I feel accepted or discarded?" Has society looked down upon you for one reason or another? Maybe you weren't good enough? Has your faith caused resentment by others in your life? Maybe, just maybe you are right where God wants you to be at this moment.
Just a little over a year ago I was wondering if I had passed the peak of my business career. Spiritually things were great, but money wise I was sinking fast. Today, several guys lamented the same situation, and it took me back to that time mentally. The thing was, I am positive by nature so I never gave up thinking somebody would see what benefit I could be to them. So to these guys today I told them how things had changed dramatically for me almost overnight, but that I never stopped believing it would.
Even so, and even with the amazing love of the Lord spurring us on, we can feel discarded when things are looking bad. The feeling may take awhile to go away, but if we do give thanks, even when things look bleak, when we have been rejected, guess who always has our back and knows exactly when to get things moving in a positive direction?
Look at scripture: The Jews lamented, God relented. Moses complained, God showed that he reigned. The apostles felt like there was not enough, the Lord showed his stuff. Paul was stuck in jail, the Lord paid his bail. The believers lost direction, Jesus gave them resurrection.
It's all over the Bible, God takes what is discarded, or looks like a lost cause and makes it relevant. You too my friend must believe that His purpose for you is not to wallow forever in the mud, but to rise above that, clean up and "shine like a star in the universe". One day, things will turn around, and it may take another person sparking you on, or a scripture that you read that gets you to believe. Or maybe constant prayer. But even today when things don't look so good, give thanks. God will deliver you from your lament.
Discarded card or great topic? God even had a plan for that dirty, stepped on and thrown away business card. What does he have in store for you, someone whom he loves so deeply?
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.