Lesson Number Four: God Is Like Our Compost Bins...
When I dreamt about the garden, I knew I wanted to include a composting bin. At first, I thought we’d build our own wooden compost bins. But I realized that open compost beds would produce a stench that no one wanted around the church property. Next, I thought we could do a composting-with-worms activity with the preschoolers in the basement of the church. But I realized that would mean I had to regularly sort through the food waste, compost, and worms to retrieve the compost. Finally, I decided on a store-bought compost container. One that would contain our compost without smell and without worms. Terry and Pam Hopper picked up two small compost bins for us when they were on sale last year - Thanks!
Here’s the thing about composting- whether you use worms or not. You take scraps that you’d otherwise throw away, and then those scraps become rich composting soil that nourishes your plants. So, I throw in cardboard, coffee grinds, egg shells, apple cores, carrot shavings, newspapers, and grass clippings and then a few weeks later I have rich soil. If you add worms, you soon realize that the compost is the worm poop! You take trash and it turns into useful, rich soil.
Chris Helton reminded me that God is like those compost bins. God takes our meager offerings, and takes our sins and shortcomings and still uses us to bring about the kingdom of God here on earth. From the beginning of Scripture, we read in Genesis that God can make beautiful things out of dust. It was from the dust of the earth that he made man.
Don’t be discouraged if your offerings to God seem meager. Whether it’s a meager offering of time or money, God will use it for his glory. He will use your sacrifice of giving of your money to teach you to rely on him, to encourage a spirit of generosity, and to remind us that God can help us do more with 90% of your income than you could ever do with 100% of it. God will teach you that even an hour or two of your week, offered in service to God, can be used by God to teach you more about compassion, love, and grace while simultaneously impacting the organization with which you serve.
If you have just an hour a week to offer to the Lord, offer it up to God knowing that God will make something beautiful with that offering of time. Don’t let yourself think, “oh it’s just an hour,” but rather be reminded that that hour makes a difference. Don’t let yourself think that because of past mistakes you are no longer able to be used by God. God will redeem those mistakes to bring about the kingdom of God here on earth. God continues to work on our hearts, getting rid of the hardened or messy parts, and refining us into something beautiful. In the words of the song by Gungor, “God makes beautiful things out of the dust. God makes beautiful things out of us.” Thanks be to God!