The Garbage

August 23, 2018
by Lynne Phipps

John 4:15-18 – The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." (NIV)

Every year, I find new stuff when I am out doing my cleanup around the property. The previous owners of our acreage buried their garbage. Over the past twelve years, I have discovered the tin can location, the glass pit, and the miscellaneous pile, as each spring, bits and pieces gradually resurface.

As I went about picking up more old pieces of coloured glass this year, it reminded me of my life and how the Lord, with His perfect timing, bit by bit, brings my own buried garbage to the surface of my mind: repressed feelings of anger or bitterness, fears or anxiety, or long-ago sins that, at the time, I never even realized were sins. Then, He gently shows me how to properly deal with these items that are detrimental to my spiritual, emotional, and physical life.

At first, much like the resurfacing of the garbage on our property, this unearthing in my own life was a little disconcerting, as it made me begin to wonder just what else I could have buried. But now, I take it all in stride. In fact, I am quite glad about the whole procedure, for it reminds me that God is definitely at work in my life, making me more and more like Jesus as He prepares me for the eventuality of heaven.

How about you? Like the woman at the well, is Jesus busy revealing things that you have buried or thought that He might not know about? If so, then be glad and pay attention to the Holy Spirit's leading as to how to best deal with the garbage. After all, it's all about becoming more and more like Christ, which is definitely a good and blessed happening.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You love and care enough about us to keep unearthing all those things in our lives that keep us from being all that we are meant to be in Christ. Encourage our hearts to be open to the things that You bring to the surface of our minds, that we might deal with them in a positive and productive way through the guiding power of Your Holy Spirit. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for another inspiring message. Shalom.


    I relate.
    I am glad He is gentle!


    Again, thanks Lynne, this applies to my life.
    Blessings.


    Hallelujah!
    Praise the LORD, Lynn.
    I too am walking in newness of life as garbage comes to the surface and the wounds heal.
    Thank you for writing to us.


    Dear Lynne – your devotional fits so well with last Sunday’s sermon about sin and whether we can be strong Christians and still continually sin. I love the analogy of garbage in unearthing the faults of each of us that get in the way of our relationship with Christ. God Bless you.


    Very relevant to me today, Lynne. I love it when you find small details in our ordinary living have such a spiritual meaning, pointed out by the Spirit within us. I too grew up in a place where broken glass kept resurfacing, especially bits of beautiful old dishes. The first time I ever saw the willow pattern china was in these shards. My father paid us a penny for every ten pieces we picked up, so it was also a source of income in my childhood.


    Lynne, this morning as I was gathering the trash from yesterday to take to the garbage bin, the thought came to me that a devotional about eliminating the daily garbage in our lives ought to be written. Then after breakfast, I opened the Daily Devotional and there it was, a devotional about dealing with the buried “garbage” that we hope to hide and try to forget. My goodness, God does have a way of getting our attention! Thanks for writing this devotional. Blessings.


    Hi Lynne:
    Thank you for the great devotional. I, too, have been experiencing these feelings and have realized that God is showing me how far He has brought me. I am so very thankful that I am not there anymore.
    I hope and pray that you are in a safe location in B.C. and that you will have good rainstorm destroy these horrible fires.
    God bless and keep you safe.


    Talk about old garbage resurfacing! This morning I was totally frustrated again. I was awakened by my husband cluttering around in the kitchen. He was making coffee at 5:40 am. Of course, I was fully awake now and couldn’t fall back asleep. Besides the clutter in the kitchen, a pesky crow started to caw right outside my bedroom window. Another frustrating day! Pent up feelings of anger and grief started to surface and of course I had to release them without thinking first on my part. Dementia is a horrible disease. My husband doesn’t realize what’s happening as he is in his own little world, whereas I have become a mother, caregiver and glorified baby sitter. So… I am thankful that God lets me “see” what I’m doing and how I’m behaving towards my husband but now, I need help to curb my tongue and accept what is. Thank you for your devotional this morning.


    Lynne, you come up with some Excellent analogies! Thank you. I enjoyed the Garbage Devotional very much.


    Hello Lynne,
    What a good message and so apt a story! I can sure relate, and yes, the Lord blesses us with His faithfulness as He works in our lives! Praise God!
    I hope you are well away from fires up north there!
    Blessings.


    Hi Lynn,
    Good devotional. I wonder about that as well. There are times when things which happened to me, or things I have done or experiences from the past seem to suddenly surface in my mind. (Not all of them good) And it is disconcerting for sure. Thank you for your encouraging words. I will make an effort to just take it in my stride.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for sharing this devotional. It has really encouraged me this morning.

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