I would be completely lying to you if I said that I consider it a joy to take out my trash. I don't like touching my trash can that has sticky residue on it from yesterday's dinner clean-up, I don't like walking it all the way down the street to the complex dumpster in the freezing cold, and I don't like my bag breaking and my trash spilling out on the street with my neighbor on accident running it over. Hahaha! How embarrassing. Don't worry, that only has happened once, but I wanted to crawl under a rock and never come back out! I still can't look my neighbor in the eyes!
I am getting somewhere with this... I promise!
Philippians 3:13-14 says,
Brothers (sisters in this case!), I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Isn't it true that it is easier just to keep our junk inside? That carrying it outside is the more inconvenient route to take? I believe it is. But let me tell you-- there is nothing WORSE than that rotten food smell in your house! Right?!
They don't come into my house and take out the trash for me. It's a deliberate choice that I have to make. It is a deliberate choice that we all have to make! Are you going to take out your own spiritual trash today to have a fresh new start with Jesus? Or are you going to sit in your home with a large pile of trash, just collecting it until you can no longer handle the smell?
With all the unknowns of 2021, we are pretty scarred from 2020. Let's be honest here. Are we keeping in our trash from 2020, or are we accepting it and moving forward? Are we choosing to see 2020 as a gift from God and 2021 a fresh new start for us? Or struggling to find healing and motivation to keep moving forward?
In this time of anxiety for a world so full of brokenness, I pray that we can step forward in courage and get rid of our trash of the past. It is a new year, a new opportunity to soak in all the sweetness of Jesus, and a new chance to learn from Him that isolation doesn't have to mean loneliness. Reach out to your neighbor, call a friend, and share in their joy and sorrow.
Isn't that what Jesus did? Don't you think that He sometimes felt alone? That He felt like the only one who truly cared about leaving everything behind and following His Father? I think He did. Don't you?
Isn't it beautiful that our Savior knows the same feeling as we felt this past year? The crushing compassion of a broken world with eyes that choose to see the best in people and trusting that they will be healed and made new? Can we choose to have the eyes of Jesus, too?
Here is what I am choosing to challenge myself on today--
Don't let 2020 sit in my house piled high with anxiety and frustration. Take it out, give it to Jesus, and believe in the hope and immense blessing of a new year. 2020 brought many blessings-- extra time with family, a refresh on our lack of energy, and unexplainable strength that couldn't come from any other than Jesus.
What a blessing it is to be living in the hardest time this world has ever been through!
Oh girl, you were BORN for this.