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Canned "Food for Thought"

Staff Member
Canned "Food for Thought" - October 12, 2005

"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 1 Peter 1:23

During a recent food drive for Hurricane Katrina victims, I was in charge of sorting through cans of food that had been donated to our church from a local supermarket. Most cans were in perfect condition and headed for the delivery box without a second thought. Others were slightly dented or the label was ripped, but still they were gathered and loaded, ready to be shipped out.

But then I found a few cans that had been badly dented, looking quite disfigured and bent over. They were placed in a separate pile. Others had lost their label completely and there was no way of knowing what was inside; no reason to use them either. These cans were affixed with the dreaded, bright-red label that read "Damaged. Remove from shelf. DISCARD". Because we had no choice, these cans were doomed for the trash heap. The treasure inside was grown and prepared for a purpose, but somewhere along the way, the containers were banged up or the label was applied incorrectly, and now there was no turning back.

There are many people in this world who feel much like these discarded cans. With the bumps and dents from the road of life traveled, they can get pretty beat up and their labels worn off. Or perhaps they've been crushed so bad from walking without God in their life that they are completely unrecognizable. They seem to have no hope, no purpose, and no reason to feel that they can be used in any way.

To them I say, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice." We know without a doubt that God does not apply big, bright-red labels on us that say, "DISCARD!" God is a gracious and loving God who never sees us that way. He doesn't have a sticker that says, "damaged goods", but rather, a sticker that is brilliant and clean and says "Sinner, Saved by Grace!" He affixes this sticker with love to our hearts, never to be ripped away or covered over. We are sealed and then called "children of God".

So, no matter how beaten up, dirty, unworthy, or useless we may sometimes feel, God is the God of second chances. As we call upon the name of Jesus, He will draw us close and be our place of safety. He will clean us up and forgive our sins. He'll teach us His ways and place us on a shelf that He built marked "RIGHTEOUS. Ready for use!" We are then ready to be opened and with all of the good stuff inside poured out for all the world to see. God won't affix a "discard" label on any of us, for He doesn't want to see anyone perish, but to come to the full knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

We can then confidently look at ourselves as valuable, even priceless possessions of Almighty God, brilliantly shined up with the Holy Spirit and readied to do God's work each day!

Contributed by Diane Check