Trash or Treasure

It’s Time to Tackle the Truth

The weathered wooden trellises were trashed . . . or so they thought. I found some timeworn trellises stacked in a pile my folks planned to toss out. I have a thing about refurbishing or renewing stuff that appears dumpy or dilapidated, and giving it new life.

If it’s family stuff, all the better. Around my house we have a saying: “Your trash is my treasure.”

The trellises had been used for years.

  • They had held fragrant climbing roses my dad cared for, cutting one for my mom each day.
  • They were placed by the swimming pool where for years my kids and I swam.
  • The man who built them out of wood had passed away, but his work remained.

For these reasons and more, I hauled them home, knowing they could be beautiful again.

Not long after, my daughter was engaged, and we were pinching pennies by making the most of her decorations. TA-DA . . . the trellises . . . they could work. We decided to make an A-framed arbor; each side measured about 4 ½ feet tall by 3 feet wide, held together with four vertical wood slats and six horizontal slats.

In all, each side had a bunch of smaller, square-shaped spaces, superb for her wedding style as we envisioned it in our minds.

We went to work—which was no small task—on these rugged-to-renewed trellises.

  • Layers of paint
  • Sanding in between
  • Leveling
  • Nailing
  • Reinforcing
  • And finally decorating

The finished product was amazing. Decorated with pictures and memories, wrapped with small lights, my daughter’s guests stopped and gazed, warmed by the glow of her arbor.

Trash to Treasure . . . Most Certainly for Them (Not Gonna Lie!)

The story continues. A friend was getting married eight months later and needed a little extra touch of something—the arbor. She loved it, used it, and more memories were made.

Not long after, my stepson proposed to his girlfriend and planned to surprise her by coming to my house filled with guests to celebrate. I pulled out the arbor and placed their photos and pictured memories on it. She cried, to say the least. Just before her wedding, I threw a shower for her.

Can you believe, the arbor made a splash as the focal point when we hung her honeymoon delights on it.

Trash to Treasure . . . Memories for a Lifetime

The story gets better. Not long ago, Insight for Living Ministries was honored to move into our new global headquarters; my very own office for the first time. And guess what it needed . . . a personal touch.

How could I use the arbor? The enormous memories it held would feel like a family hug in my office every day.

With a little creativity and a lot of Hobby Lobby shopping, that arbor was turned into a piece that rests on my desk, each square loaded with photos, sayings, and Scriptures, and at the very top the letters     “R-E-F-R-A-M-E” are hung in an array of colors.

Trash or Treasure
(Photo Courtesy of Unsplash)

Trash . . . or Treasure?

Which do you feel like these days? Used up, useless? Exquisite, beloved?

How often do we feel that there’s no way God can love us because of the messes we’ve made. Or, we work ourselves to death trying to earn His favor but keep discovering that the bar is just one rung too high—we’ll never measure up.

Maybe you’ve endured abuse or rejection, and it’s impossible to believe that you are treasured. Who hasn’t questioned God’s love when pain or the storms of life have crushed us? Where was God’s loving care then?

It is essential to separate the very dark and hurtful world we live in from our heavenly Father, the boundless source of unconditional love. So think of it this way:

Trash Treasure Passage
This world is broken God’s love heals Psalm 30:2
This world is painful God’s love comforts 2 Corinthians 1:3–5
This world is corrupt God’s love redeems Romans 3:22–24
This world destroys God’s love restores Psalm 107:19–21
This world is wasting away God’s love offers eternal life John 3:16–17

Trash to Treasure . . . for a Lifetime

Transforming the trellises from the trash heap into a treasure we cherish was hard work. If they could talk, they would say the . . .

  • Sanding
  • Nailing
  • Scraping
  • Sawing

It hurt . . . A LOT! God is at work transforming you and me because of His love for us.

Let Me Hear from You

It’s not our condition that makes us treasured—it’s God’s love for us. A well-worn, upcycled trellis testifies to this: God’s love transforms us, no matter the shape we’re in.

Because of this, we can rest in God’s love despite our circumstances, whether we feel the abrasiveness of pain or the glow of celebration. We are His . . . we are never, ever trash.

Do you believe that? Do you believe He treasures you? If you struggle with His love, let’s connect on that this week.

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