But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed II Corinthians 4: 8-9
Tony Coleman was walking with his kindergarten class to the library when the kids spotted a bird’s nest. They got closer to see it more clearly. One kid noticed, “Hey, it’s got a little blue ribbon in it.” Then another little voice piped up, “And something yellow, too!” “It’s a balloon!” added another. “And there’s candy wrappers!” someone else said. Then, they all concluded, “It’s made out of trash!”
Coleman noted, “Yes, it did look like it was made out of trash.” He observed the blue ribbon, the yellow balloon, the wrinkles of candy wrappers woven into twigs and dead leaves. As he looked at it more, he concluded: Wait a minute, this trash wasn’t caught in this bird’s nest. It’s part of this bird’s nest.
He said to the class of 5 year olds: “Yes, friends, there is some trash in this bird’s nest, but guess what: these birds have taken all the things that they could find and look what they did! They built a home out of it!”
Think about the trash of your lives…the mistakes you have made, the chances you have missed, the wounds you bear. Imagine that they are the pieces of refuse you toss in a can (or for some…toss into the woods.) Picture some great unseen force collecting all of that detritus of our lives and shaping it into something beautiful and meaningful.
That is what God does in our lives. God doesn’t erase the worst moments we have lived, but God helps us to use those moments to dig more deeply into the truths about life and love; and ultimately, to live a more holy, meaningful life.