I love old stuff. Anybody who knows me will tell you that. I’ve been that way all my life. I have stuff strewn all across the country in different places that I’ve lived. Right now I have a big, fat piece of junk sitting in my driveway that is supposed to float but probably won’t.
Something about junk attracts me. Maybe it’s that somebody else threw it out. Maybe it’s because everyone who looks at it thinks it’s unusable, past its prime, or not worth redeeming. Maybe it’s because it had a purpose once upon a time and I believe it still can. Whatever the reason, I like the challenge.
There are a few things biblical about repurposing junk. The biggest is that God can take the junk in our lives and create purposeful things out of it. This is where lots of people get confused. They think people are junk OR they are junk themselves. This is not the case! The Bible says God created you in His image. You were made to resemble the Creator and you can’t erase that mark! You were made with a purpose and no amount of trying or running on your part can undo that fact. Your purpose here on earth stands firm until the day you die. You can refuse to admit it or submit to it, but it will always be there. Simply put, your purpose is to know God and make Him known. Don’t think for a minute that you are useless because of mistakes or decisions you’ve made in your past. God can redeem your past. Don’t think for a minute God created you to collect dust. You are NOT junk! He can and will use you, if you let Him.
One of my favorite verses in the New Testament is 2 Corinthians 5.17. Just listen to these words, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come!” Hey, God is in the restoration business, too! What does this mean? It means that when a person surrenders their life to Christ—whole heart, mind, and soul—God takes that person and begins to remove the areas of junk and replace them with areas that will respond to and resemble His Spirit.
He begins with the heart; the area that has the strongest emotional allegiance to your old way of living. He gives you new desires, new hopes and dreams, and new relationships. You begin to love in a new way. You start to experience God like you were created to…to know Him. He moves to the mind next. You get a new way of thinking; a new way of processing the world around you. You start to gain wisdom about situations in your life you thought were unattainable. Your skills take on new life. Finally, God moves to that area of your life that is untouchable by the outside world. It’s the part of you that desires peace more than anything. It craves rest, real rest. It has to have answers to life’s deep questions: your soul. God renews that deep part of you that was created to be the part of you that speaks to the world as proof of His existence and involvement here. He restores us!
Then, Paul says, God passes on His ministry of reconciliation…or, He calls us into the restoration business! Who knew this was a family business! He understands you can’t give anyone a new heart. He knows full well you stop so short of renewing somebody’s mind. But He also knows that anyone who sees you, and knew the old you, will want to know who the craftsman is; they’ll see the difference and want to know the source. After admiring a work of art, the admirers’ first question is, “who’s the artist?”
God creates us so that our lives will say to the world “God built me! God made me new again! God gave me life again! Let me show you how He did it!”
If you’re feeling junky lately, I pray you will turn to the only One who offers purpose and peace in this life. If you’re feeling like a treasured piece of art (as I find many Christians do…often), remember that you would be nothing more than a heaping pile of rusted metal wasting away in some junkyard, were it not for the divine artist who created you, saw purpose in your pieces, and chose not to give up on you. Old things can be made new again. I’m proof!