Recycling Pain

Recycling is a routine way of handling millions of tons of trash produced daily in this country, where the recycling rate continues to grow.

Did you know that God is the originator of recycling? Oh yes, He is and has always been in the business of recycling our pain.

Let’s consider the parallels between the process we go through to recycle our garbage and how God recycles pain.

We 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 the pain or its source. You have to take time to sort out (identify) your pain before God can recycle it. It’s not that God doesn’t know you have pain that needs healing, it is that God wants you to acknowledge the pain. Many of us live in denial of the pain in our lives.

We must put out the recycling. If all you do is sort the garbage 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.

In some cases, you already may have sorted the pain, but you are not ready and willing to give it to God for His recycling work to take place in your life.

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.

That process included not only giving the pain to God, but willingly forgiving those who caused the pain. When we pray for our enemies and those who hurt us, we are turning the situation over to God. When we hold on to the pain and resentment caused by others we are trying to solve the problem ourselves.

God’s recycles our pain to adapt it to a new use.
One of the meanings of recycle is “to adapt to a new use.” A lot of the garbage we produce is recycled to be adapted to a new use. In the same way, when you allow God to recycle your pain, He also will show you how to adapt your pain to a new use.

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.

What pain are you walking around with that is impacting your life in a negative way and that you need to give to God to be recycled?

  • Betrayal
  • Abuse
  • Lied to
  • Broken relationship
  • Abandoned
  • Used

I challenge you to sort through your area of struggle, identify the pain, and give it to God for recycling.

Maybe you have a story of how God recycled your pain that you would like to share so someone else can be encouraged. Please feel free to share your story on my Facebook page.

If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.