Monday, December 9, 2019

Damaged Goods - Martin Wiles

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 NLT

“Hey, Ice Cream man, you got any freebies?”

My dad’s dad was an ice cream man. Not the kind who drove a little truck with a bell through neighborhoods while playing music. Rather, the kind who drove a larger truck and stocked novelties, gallons, and half gallons of ice cream in restaurants, grocery stores, and mom-and-pop shops.

These were the days when many homes still didn’t have air conditioning—at least not central air. Children roamed the neighborhoods during the hot South Carolina summers looking for some way to cool off. Town pools and ice cream were two of their favorites.

My grandfather was notorious for giving away ice cream—but not the perfect novelties. He gave away damaged goods. When the kids ran to his truck asking for free ice cream, he’d smile and tell them to hold on. Then, he’d open one of the six doors on the back of his truck, looking for the hole that had the novelties and then searching for the damaged goods.

Damaged ice cream was of no use. Either it had been damaged during shipping, or it was smashed during the loading process. Store owners didn’t want it and customers wouldn’t buy it. Neither could my grandfather sell it back to the company. He could either throw it away … or give it away. He chose the latter. What store owners and customers didn’t want, children drenched in sweat from the hot summer sun did.

According to Paul, we’re all damaged goods. Smashed by divorce, financial ruin, criminal acts, bad decisions, and sexual immorality. Dented by disobedience of all types. Just can’t seem to get life right. Seemingly good for nothing. The wages of our sin? Death. But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. What others don’t want, Christ will take—and make a masterpiece of.

The Bible calls what Jesus does redemption, salvation, conversion. The name’s not as important as the act itself. God the Father takes Christ’s payment for sin on the cross and applies it to our life. He removes the dents and the smashes—and their penalty. But not the memory of them. Memories help us appreciate what He’s done. 

What others don’t want or understand, Christ does. Let Him use you to glorify Himself and advance His kingdom of love across this world.

Prayer: Father, thank You for taking the damaged goods we are and using us anyway.

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  1. What a wonderful analogy and story telling. Gracias for brightening my evening. BB2U

  2. So true. My scars remind me of what He has done in my life and no longer bring pain. Blessings!