Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—He’ll carry your load, He’ll help you out. Psalm 55:22 (The Message)
After I’d stepped outside my apartment one morning, my gaze connected with the manager who lives across the corridor. (Yes, this proximity does feel a little bit weird).
We exchanged greetings before he turned toward the second story landing to head downstairs.
A week’s worth of trash in hand, I followed behind. At that point, the manager was already mid-way down.
In a matter of seconds, he scrambled upward to greet me near the top— hand outstretched.
I stopped, wondering at his intent.
“I’ve got the golf cart. I’ll take your trash to the dumpster for you.”
Now, how many apartment managers offer to take out the trash for their residents?
As of this unlikely encounter, I know of one.
While the bag wasn’t cumbersome or weighty, it was … trash. It needed to be eliminated so the inevitable stench of decomposing waste could overtake our apartment.
While I don’t hate taking out my trash, I do let it sit a little longer than necessary. There’s always the chance that my supremely generous husband might choose to take it out, a man super sensitive to offensive smells.
But when the task falls to me, I breath through my mouth as I get closer to the dumpster outside, momentarily appalled at what people throw away and the putrid smell.
The manager’s kindness turned my thoughts heavenward.
Because what if I’d refused his offer, unwilling to allow someone else to handle my refuse—that which was never intended for me to haul around? That awful stuff inside me called sin for which the Lord died and covered with his righteousness?
Being honest, I hold onto that trash more often than I care to admit.
“No, Lord. You really don’t want this.”
Ridiculous, really. The Lord wants (and knows) all of my filth and desires to relieve me of it. Most importantly, He is capable of doing so.
Grace is the reason He moves near and offers to take it, our good God who sees and meets a need.
A hefty price had to be paid to get rid of the accumulating pile of spiritual, mental, and emotional trash.
It cost Jesus His life.
The apartment manager didn’t insist I hand over the bag. He merely offered. Neither does God insist I release my cares over to him ... morning after morning after morning.
He graciously offers to carry my burden on His shoulders, knowing full well my tendency to shrink back in stubborn refusal to accept His help, convinced I've got this (or too blind to realize I've got trash).
When I humble myself to meet the Lord on the steps between human effort and amazing grace, the fragrance of Jesus inside my soul emerges.
It spreads a redolence of sweet forgiveness to the hurting and lost.
But when we refuse to believe we’re worthy of God's gracious offer and, instead, maintain a tight grasp on our trash (because we've come to believe that's a picture of who we are), we fail to represent Jesus well.
Trash holding hinders our ability to discern the long arm of God when He reaches a scarred hand to take what He never intended us to carry—our trash of unrighteousness..
Jesus says, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5
What hinders you from handing your “garbage” over to the Lord?
When have you offered to take someone’s burden and exchange it for the truth?
Thanks for reading!
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Until next time,
✏️ You Are the Reason, Book #1 in Heart of Moreland Manor, is set to release mid-November! I'm collaborating with the graphic designer to create a marketable, swoon-worthy cover. #Felkinsfiction #inspirational #romance Keep an eye on social media for updates and promo images, book quotes. Once I have purchase links, I'll post those to my website.
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✏️Here's a link to the talk I gave in April with a dear friend of mine. Shining Your Light in Brokenness has received over 135 views!! May it encourage you in seasons of hardship and realign your perspective.