In the city where I live, as in many cities, recycling is a routine way of handling the millions of tons of trash produced daily in the United States.
Recently the leader of our Celebrate Recovery said, “God is in the recycling business; He recycles our pain.”
That statement is not new or original with this leader. It has been used in lessons for Celebrate Recovery and other recovery programs for years.
But as I heard the statement this time, I saw parallels between the process I go through in order for the city to recycle my garbage and how God recycles our pain.
1. You must sort out the things to be recycled. The city where I live tells me what they will accept to recycle. In the same way, God wants you to take the time to examine your life and see where you need Him to recycle your pain. You may be walking around with years of pain. It’s directly affecting the way you relate to others, but you have not identified what the pain is or its source. You must take the time to sort out (identify) your pain before God can recycle it.
2. You must put out the recycling. If all you do is sort the recycling and leave the container sitting in your garage, recycling will not take place. The city will not come into your garage and take it. You must put it out on the curb in order for it to be taken to be recycled.
In the same way, God cannot recycle your pain unless you give it to Him. He will not come in and take the pain without you giving it to Him. Someone once said, “God will not do for you by miracle what you must do by obedience.” God will not take anything from you against your will. You must consciously chose to surrender it to Him.
In some cases you already may have sorted the pain, but are not ready and willing to give it to God for His recycling work to take place in your life. You must surrender it before He can recycle it.
I recall as a kid being wrongfully accused of stealing. I could not convince anyone I did not do it. The pain of not being believed was a defining moment in my life. I lived with that pain well into my adult years. When I sorted through my life and discovered how the pain of that one event had led me to not trust people, I realized that in order to be free of that pain I had to give it to God to be recycled.
Today I can say God has recycled my pain of mistrust, not only to the point where I now trust others, but more importantly, I have become a trustworthy person.
You have to decide how long you will allow the people who mistreated you to continue to influence your life. I decided I no longer wanted to allow those who mistreated me to continue influencing my life.
I decide to release the past, so I can me released from the past on the so I can move on with my life in a positive, healthy way.
What pain are you walking around with that is impacting your life in a negative way that you need to give to God to be recycled? Here are a few:
I challenge you to sort through your area of struggle, identify the pain, and give it to God for recycling. Release the past so the past can release you!
Maybe you have a story of how God recycled your pain that you would like to share so someone else can be encouraged. Please share your story on my Facebook page.
If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.