February 7, 2007. A day seared in my mind forever. This was the day that I found out my dad had committed suicide. I woke up that day like any other day, and by the end of it, I felt like a freight truck had hit me at 100 miles an hour. I was broken, lost, confused, angry, and sad. So many emotions, and life just seemed to stop for me in those moments. My grief overcame me and blinded me to even see that God was in my midst. My once good life was now laid barren and broken before me, and I had no clue what to do with those broken pieces.
What could God possibly do with an orphan daughter and how could He possibly use such a tragic situation for any good at all?
How many times have you asked such questions? Maybe your wasteland came from the loss of a child, or the job that fell through, or maybe the countless times you hoped to see the plus sign on the end of that pregnancy test. Maybe you are living the single life longer than you ever anticipated, or maybe it’s the divorce that you feel like follows you like a scarlet letter.
No matter your questions, no matter your wasteland, first thing is first…
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34:18
The next thing I will tell you is Romans 8:28 tells us that He works ALL things together for good.
You may be wondering how that is even possible. Believe me. I have been there. You may be there now. You may be wondering how such pain could be good for anything. Know that it is not wasted. You may just be in a place that requires a perspective change.
We all know the quote, “One person’s trash, is another person’s treasure.”
I have heard it my whole life and always knew it referred to perspective, but until I began to truly serve God, perspective was something I focused very little on. As my maturity in the Lord grew, so did my understanding of how important it is to have God’s perspective on EVERYTHING. As seasons pass by, as the storms rage and trials blindside us, without proper perspective, sinking sand is our foundation. As a result, we end up wandering in our wasteland.
Unfortunately, as human flesh would have it, I have become narrow sighted too often and found it extremely difficult to walk in God’s perspective of every situation. Some situations hurt too bad or seemed to impossible in human form. There were times when I couldn’t see the purpose in the pain and was demanding all the answers NOW.
As I was walking through the season following my father’s passing, I read an analogy that really opened my heart to God’s ability to turn it all around with just a little perspective change. I realized in that moment that my wasteland was God’s wonderland.
The analogy was about two clay vases. One is in immaculate condition with not a single scratch or hole in it; a beautiful piece of pottery. The other one is not so beautiful on the surface. Its edges are rough, there are big gaping holes all over it. It looks like something you would throw away without hesitation.
If I turned the lights out and placed a lit candle in each vase, something interesting happens. In the first vase, perfect in form, the light from the candle shines beautifully out the top of the vase. Now the second vase, once the candle is placed inside, through every hole and scratch, that light is illuminating its surroundings.
It’s all about perspective.
You, my friend, are the vase. You aren’t perfect. None of us are. You have gaping holes in your life as it has side swiped you and broke you down. But the light of Jesus can shine so much brighter through those rough places and empty spaces.
“Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop?” Matthew 5:14 (TPT)
God’s desire is to set you apart and use even the hurts and pains of life to glorify Himself. If you will just allow Him to shift your perspective, you will realize that we don’t serve a moderately big God, but a God that is GRAND!!!
Your wasteland is God’s opportunity to write your story.
For me, that wasteland became a platform for me to share my heart with others who have not only found themselves struggling with family or friends who deal with suicide, but I have also had the opportunity to share the love of God with those who directly deal with depression and suicidal thoughts. God has opened so many doors in my pain for His love to not only heal those I was reaching, but also my own heart.
When I felt like trash, God was right there to remind me that I am His treasure, and so are you. You are God’s treasure and His love for you is immense.
I encourage you today to hand Him over your trash and let Him turn it into His treasure.