Generally there are four seasons every year but for most of us across the Continental U.S and Canada, we can add two more. “Construction and Garage Sale” Season. Often here in Michigan,when the climate gets warmer and the ground has thawed, our streets are flooded with construction vehicles that are fixing roadways, sidewalks or simply just building new ones.
Garage Sale season is in full swing when we see homemade signs on the corners of intersections and at the end of neighbourhood streets. Some even linger long after a sale is finished (Yup, a pet-peeve of mine), advertising everything from childrens items to small appliances, from clothing to lawn furniture. The thought is that, “anything you want, you will probably find at a garage sale”.
During this season, I am often reminded of a children’s book we had in our home. When our children were little we would read to them and as they learned to read they would gravitate to this book as well. “Trash to Treasure: that’s the Grouch way”, a Sesame Street Golden book written by Liza Alexander. On the show and in the book, Oscar the Grouch, lived in a garbage can and pretty much grumbled, whined and complained about everything. He was a grouch and lived up to his name well. In the show Oscar had an “uncanny” (punn intended) way of taking trash and making it into something useful. If he was real, he would have been great at selling things at a garage sale. Convincing people that sometimes one person’s trash is useful and can become another person’s treasure.
Does your trash have a price?
For fifteen years I was faithful at going through our house and finding things in order to host our own sale – things we didn’t want, that didn’t fit, or were just taking up space. It became a once-a-year routine almost. Sometimes I would go in with a neighbour or another friend so as to have company and help for the day or two we were open. It was fun (for the most part) meeting people, getting money for whatever it was we were saving for at the time, hanging out and having great conversations with a friend over the scheduled time.
Over the years, I began to enjoy the whole experience less and less. It was more draining than fueling. The pricing, the setting up, the signs, making less money for the same amount of work only fueled my desire to quit. I had run my course of hosting garage sales and soon would discover that shopping at them was not appealing either.
What changed? What happened to my passion, my desire to take my trash and turn it into treasure? It was a season, one that lasted fifteen years.
I also have trash that has a price. So do you, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. It is sin, but it really is trash. Unlike the stuff in our homes that we don’t want around but we put a price tag on, sin needs to be unloaded permanently without expecting anything in return. It is garbage and belongs in a bin at the foot of the Cross. For some of us, we might feel that thebin needs to be a barrel or anything from a U-haul truck to a semi.
Why the Cross you ask? Because that’s where we get the top price!! Jesus Christ poured out His blood for our sin. We are called to confess, give Him our sin because He has already paid for it in full. No sale price, no discount, no return policy. He paid ONE price for ALL the sin in the world. As followers of Christ, our job now is to simply acknowledge and confess the sin that lingers and embrace the forgiveness He has already given us.
When we embrace His forgiveness we are more apt to give forgiveness freely.
Sadly, so many believers go on thinking (and living) as though “their sin is still for sale”. They struggle with completely embracing the forgiveness Jesus gave them at the Cross. They hold on to their sin as though it were a treasure and if they were to “put it out there”, they might face rejection and that would be more painful than the understanding the comfort of forgiveness. The “for sale” sign that hung on my heart came down when I was just a teenager. There have been times over the past thirty years that I have treasured sin in my heart. Sometimes it was because of fear, while other times it was because of a lack of understanding that I was TRULY and COMPLETELY forgiven!!
Unfortunately, I found myself surrounded by people who also lived the lie that forgiveness was difficult to fully receive. As I spent more time in The Golden book, the Holy Bible, I grew in my understanding of my sin and found great comfort through confession and forgiveness received through the blood of Jesus.
The enemy’s role is to keep unbelievers in the dark and the believer from finding freedom in their faith journey while trying to destroy their witness. He uses sin to keep us trapped. God transforms our sin into His glory. He takes our trash and turns us into His Treasure!!!
How about you?
Are you treasuring sin?
Have you received the FULL price for your sin?
Do you still have a “for sale” sign on your heart?
Thank you for joining me on this journey,