Monday, August 20, 2018

Throw Back the Trash - Martin Wiles

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 1 Corinthians 1:27 NLT

“That’s nothing but trash.”

Fishing on the Santee River with my maternal grandmother was my favorite things to do when I was a pre-teen. We’d leave around lunchtime and stay all day, floating in nooks and crannies in a small boat. She never used a rod-n-reel, only cane poles. A small one for bream and a larger one for catfish.
If my cork went under but nothing was on the line when I pulled it up—including the bait worm—she wouldn’t say anything the first time. But if it happened repeatedly, she would say, “Throw your line somewhere else. That’s nothing but trash.”

Trash was small bream that would suck the worm from a hook. Occasionally, I might catch one but they weren’t big enough to fry. Either way, I lost: a worm or a fish. And it was a waste of my time fooling with them. She needed larger fish that she could cook or sell.

Paul says something different about who the world considers trash. God chooses them to shame those who think they are wise. Somewhat like Jesus did when he chose fishermen and a tax collector for disciples rather than the elite religious leaders. And also when He hung around those others considered trash. Through such actions, God shines forth His power and wisdom.

I’ve been thrown back or rejected more times than I care to remember. Chosen last for a team. Laughed at because I had an accident. Made fun of because I wore glasses. Rejected by a lover for someone else. Told by religious folks that I couldn’t be used because of my past. The list is long.

But God continues to confound those who think they’re wise—and amazes me—by continuing to use me in His service. The only reason God rejects me is if I fail to believe in Him. At that point, I seal my own fate—not one He desires for me.

Others may consider us trash because of our family background, social class, monetary status, or skin color. God never does. He sees none of that. He only sees a masterpiece in the making—a person created in His image, usable under His power and guidance.

Regardless of what others say about you, remember what God says. You are loved and usable. Make yourself available. He’ll never toss you back.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your love, grace, and mercy. And that You choose to use us even when others toss us aside. 

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