Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Return for Deposit - Martin Wiles

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:7 NKJV

My cousin and I walked the one-mile highway, searching for the treasure we hoped to find.

I remember well the time when “Return for Deposit” was stamped on every beverage bottle. And I often did what the imperative sentence suggested. Doing so cut down on litter and also yielded a nice result.

My cousin and I were country boys who rarely had money. Our grandfather sometimes gave us a little for helping with chores around the farm, but not often. So we looked for ways to make money. Picking up tossed-aside drink bottles was one way.

My grandparents lived one mile from the nearest town—a small hole in the road that housed nothing but a mom-and-pop store, a gin, and a post office. My grandfather, along with other farmers, frequented the store often, and here was where my cousin and I headed with our treasure.

In these days, two young boys could walk a highway without worrying about getting kidnapped or murdered. We set out alone, eyes searching the sides of the road as we walked, looking for bottles we could snatch for a nickel return deposit each.

By the time we had walked the mile and reached the store, we had enough bottles to purchase a drink and something to eat. If we were lucky, our grandfather would buy the drink and Nabs, and we could pocket the money. One week later, we could walk the road again and find more returns.

Sadly, the day came when aluminum cans took over, and the “Return for Deposit” embossment faded into history. Not so with God’s grace. Paul says God’s grace is a gift, the gift from which spiritual gifts flow, but also the gift that we can keep returning for. His grace never ends.

God’s grace flows through forgiveness. A forgiveness that never runs out no matter how many times we mess up. God thrives on second chances. His grace gives strength for life’s journey—a journey often fraught with trials and troubles. His grace makes troubles bearable, but also gives us the wisdom to make the journey without giving up.

God’s grace will forever bear the stamp, “Return for Deposit.” Don’t fear that His grace will run out in your life.

Prayer: Father, we thank You for the grace that continually flows to us.

Tweetable: Do you worry that God's grace will run out? 

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1 comment:

  1. I am thankful God's grace never gives out. I remember the days of collecting bottles and returning them for coins. The gas station on the corner was a favorite place to take empty soda bottles. :-) Fond memories.