I’m Glad God Recycles

shoes with flowers in them

My mother liked to repurpose things such as cereal boxes, pudding cups, toilet paper rolls— you name it. It gave her joy to take something that was going to be thrown in the trash and turn it into something useful or beautiful.

While this sounds like an endearing memory of my sweet mom, sometimes it was embarrassing. Why? My mom would go through my trash, you guys—mine and my neighbors! The woman had no shame!

Mom didn’t like things going to waste. Neither does God.

In fact, when something went wrong in life, mom would often say, “God never wastes a hurt.” And then she would quote Romans 8:28,

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

But ya know what? All things are not good.

Cancer is not good. Child abuse is not good. Drug and alcohol addiction is not good.

And yet, here it is in scripture, “In ALL things God works for the good…”

Tell that to someone who endured the horrors of child abuse. Or to someone whose husband committed suicide in front of her and their children.

How do we reconcile things like this?

Recently I read that the chemical sodium found in table salt is deadly. But when you combine chloride (also deadly) with sodium, together they flavor our foods beautifully.

This is a perfect example of how God takes something intended for evil (deadly poison) and turns it around for our good. He does this because HE IS GOOD.

Our world is broken because of sin. But God can and does work for the good even in what seems beyond repair.

Think about Jesus dying on the cross. Evil. Jesus rising from the dead. Glorious.

And still, my mother’s words echo in my mind, “God never wastes a hurt.” But I have found there’s a caveat to this idea.

God doesn’t waste a hurt, but sometimes we do.

Some of our hurts are not of our own doing, but from the sin of another, or the side-effects of living in a broken world.

However, if we are honest, there are a number of self-inflicted hurts.

Often times when things go south, we just look for the quickest way out of the hardship.

Could it be that God is teaching us (and/or those around us) in the midst of our storm? Could it be that we brought on the hardship through our own sin and God is allowing it to draw our attention to His loving grace and mercy? Ya know, that dreaded word: discipline.

I’m reminded of a time when one of my cats snuck into my craft box and got herself twisted up in my yarn. The more she frantically struggled to free herself, the tighter the yarn became. It was a nightmare getting a flailing, yowling cat lose from all that yarn.

And guess what? That cat got in my craft box and did the same thing only a few days later!

“They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” 
Hebrews 12:10

Is this ringing a bell? We can be just like the cat. The yarn was enticing and fun … for a little while until like a spider’s web, we are stuck. Many of us have scars (emotional and physical) to remind us of our foolishness. However, our gracious heavenly Father teaches us by His loving discipline, but only if we are willing not to waste the hurt.

Perhaps rather than searching for the quickest escape, we should linger in the pain in order to gain heavenly insight.

Friends, the Lord wants to go through our “trash.” He wants to repurpose, and make it into something useful and beautiful. Whether it’s evil that we never invited, or our own foolishness, the Lord is The Master at making all things new!

The question is not IF the Lord can, but rather, will we let Him? 

I’m forever grateful that my Father never wastes a hurt and always recycles!

I hope you’ll join me next Monday for part 2 “The Devil is a Dumpster Diver” which will include some practical application for allowing the Lord to use our “trash.”

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20 thoughts on “I’m Glad God Recycles”

  1. Beckie, this reminded me of how Virginia will take discarded (recycled) boxes, paper towel rolls, etc., and repurpose them in such creative ways. Yes, God can take our “waste,” no matter how toxic, and remake it into good, provided that we let Him. As your mother so wisely said, “God never wastes a hurt.” We can learn and grow from all of them, and the Lord will show us the way.
    Blessings, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Martha, As I was writing the rough draft for this post last week, I thought about your sweet granddaughter and her crafts! It was confirmation on the lesson God was teaching me in order to put together this post.
    Blessing to you and Virginia Rose ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very true. It’s easy for us to “Waste our hurts” because we’ll do whatever seems to ease the pain quickest. Far too often, we fail to recognize that sometimes the pain brings healing. Am learning that through this shoulder ordeal. The therapy causes pain, but the increased movement regained tells me it’s healing through the pain. Well said Ms. Beckie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great read momma! Yes I remember that about Nana as well. In fact I thought about her outrage towards wastefulness just the other day when Katie and I were quoting a certain YouTube video about throwing things on the ground and how she thought that was the most absurd thing! Thank you for this reminder about God’s work in our sanctification. I liked the cat analogy as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
    Genesis 1:2

    My parents and grandparents already sleep; they have defended me and my brothers all their lives and continue to defend us with their struggle, hard work, and dedication.

    “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
    Revelation 14:13

    The memories of my mistakes bother me, the lack of love, humility, fear, and faith; and just like me, everyone also had their own demands, limits, and needs.

    “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
    1 John1:8

    Already as an adult; my mother, seeing me in trouble, said to me,
    “Your father and I fight, our fight; fight, your fight.”

    Is need to honor them, it is Law; his struggles and pain were not in vain, his worthy example indicates and encourages me in the direction.

    “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
    Exodus 20:12

    With the hope that all the struggle, evils and errors, and victories, will catch up a good testimony, and that it can be used as “wood to bake bread”, and that this “bread” can be used to feed someone. Thus, the LORD Works and makes us useful.

    “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
    Romans 8:28 (KJV)

    From the salty sea to the Sacred Sea!
    All bought with the Royal Blood of the Lamb!
    To the Lord’s Wife and Heavenly Mother!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beckie I loved this and you know this girl loves to recycle!! Loved getting to know a tiny glimpse of your mama with this story. Thanks for sharing your heart and your encouragement 💗💗

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beckie, Your message brought back wonderful memories of my mother. She never let anything go to waste and, like your mother, re-purposed many items. She didn’t go through my trash, though! (But, that’s probably only because she didn’t think about it). Oh, my friend, you have pierced us with your insight today. I’m lifted up by your reminder that God will re-purpose our hurts–for our good–if we let Him. Another reminder is that we choose our path with our Lord. We can draw closer or move further away. I pray we can strive to be closer and draws others nearer as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katherine, Yes, thanks for bringing attention to this important detail: we have a choice whether to move closer to the Lord or further away. For many years I allowed shame to keep me away. After discovering how deeply the Lord loves us (I’m still learning!), I have been able to move closer, allowing Him do what He wanted to do all along: love and grow me.


  8. Amen! “God never wastes a hurt but sometimes we do.” That’s exactly right. I’m so grateful God has recycled my broken life. I know it was heading for the trash heap and there was no earthly reason for Him to retrieve me. But He did, and now He uses my mistakes to encourage others. Thanks for this great post.


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