God’s Discard Pile...Not!
I recently had the wonderful privilege to address two-hundred homeless individuals at Mission 615 in Nashville, Tennessee. Upon receiving the invitation to speak, I was extremely anxious and wondered what I might impart to these hurting men and women. Of course, I knew I could always remind them how very much God loves them, but I desired to say much more than that.
That day, I was led to share my own personal testimony. I began by sharing the dreams I had as a child and how unexpected pregnancy at the age of seventeen had brought those dreams to a halt. I shared how difficult it had been for both me and my husband to transition from foot-loose and fancy-free teenagers to spouses, parents, and providers. Depression set in and the disappointment of missed opportunities cut like a knife. With no vision for my future anymore, I suddenly found myself asking, “Now what?”
Proverbs 13:12(a) says, “Unrelenting disappointment leaves the heart sick...” How many of the homeless shared this mindset? As I glanced across the crowd, I wondered how many dead dreams filled the room? How many felt as if they had been placed in God’s discard pile due to failures, mistakes, bad choices, hurts, etc.? Tears streamed down the faces of many as they listened and began to reflect on childhood dreams they had secretly tucked away because of disappointment and life plans that had gone astray.
How many of us can testify that life just has not turned out like we expected? We all begin with dreams and often ten or even twenty years down the road we open our eyes to look around and see that our lives look nothing like we had imagined them to.
I continued my testimony of how one Saturday afternoon shortly after getting married, I was busy cleaning the small apartment my parents had provided us to live in, when the Holy Spirit visited me right there in my living room. I was listening to an Amy Grant cassette when the words to one particular song captured my attention:
“Looking out to the hills
to the setting sun,
I feel a cold wind bound to come;
Another change, Another end I cannot see,
But your faithfulness to me
Is making it alright,
I fall down on my knees;
Tell me that it’s alright.
YOU give me what I need.”
Suddenly, I heard Jesus saying, “If you will surrender your life to ME, I’ve got your back. Everything will be alright.” Right then and there, with no one else in the room, I surrendered my life to Jesus. No, surrendering did not afford me the ability to go back and change the choices I had made in the past, but it did position me for the new thing God desired to do in my life. Isaiah 43:18-19(NCV) The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.”
Every one of us has a destiny! Psalm 139 tells us that before we were ever born, God saw our bodies taking shape in our mother’s womb and HE planned our purpose and destiny and penned it in His book. So, I understand why God says here in Isaiah, “Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it?”
God saw it before you were ever born! He is asking, “DO YOU SEE IT?” God is about the NOW and He is always ready to perform a new thing in your life. He doesn’t need perfect conditions. He doesn’t even need perfect people. He just needs a life that is surrendered to Him. Therefore, when you least expect it or when your circumstances seems impossible He declares “I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.” GOD WILL MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF YOUR NOTHING!
This year, Steve and I will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary. We have two beautiful, God-fearing children who are strong and stable. Honestly, I must say that if God had allowed me to fulfill all of my childhood desires, self-made plans and dreams they would never compare to the life He has chosen for me the past twenty-four years. Walking through life, hand in hand with Christ has yielded such fulfillment and deep joy!
Perhaps, through mistakes, disappointments and failures you too feel as if you have somehow landed in God’s discard pile with no vision for the life you always imagined? Maybe you find yourself today asking “Now what?” The great news is...God has no such discard pile and He is not concerned with your past. He is a God of the Now and the important question is, What Will You Do With Today? There is not one thing you can do to rewrite the past, but if you will surrender your life, dreams, and plans complete with all it’s disappointments, hurts, and failures to Jesus then God will rewrite your future.