About once every two or three years, my wife and I hold a yard sale. It’s rather a sad thing that, like most people, we have such a propensity to collect ‘stuff’ that we need to have a sale to get rid of it periodically. Yet it happens to us all: at some point, we buy something that we think we’ll use now and forever; in reality, we use it once, maybe twice, or not at all – and it merely takes up space.
Yard sales are sort of a form of entrepreneurial recycling. Other people are able to use stuff that we aren’t able to use. It saves the need to manufacture something new. We make a little money off of it. The (re-) cycle continues. Something old is made new again, in the hands of another.
This got me thinking: God does this all the time!
Every day, in places all over the world, God buys people. Or, maybe more correctly, God bought people. When Jesus came, he came to redeem the world – to buy it back. So every day, as more and more people place their faith and trust in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, God welcomes them into his family. They may be young and untried, old and tired, or somewhere in between. It doesn’t matter! God welcomes all who trust him and redeems them in Jesus. Those lives which were spent are now made new again in Jesus.
God shows up at ‘human’ yard sales every day. He buys back those who will walk with him.
Yet there are those who will not put themselves out there for God to redeem. They think they still can do it on their own. They want to try to keep going under their own power. These are the people we need to pray for. Pray that God will open their hearts to receive his redeeming love.
If an old teddy bear that was missing half the stuffing could talk, it would probably have great memories, but not much self-worth. When the stuffing is half-knocked out of you, you don’t feel very good about yourself. But God would buy that teddy bear! No matter how we feel about ourselves, God will receive us. In fact, it is in God that we receive our self-worth! We can only love ourselves when we know that God first loved us. And God would go to yard sales far out of his way if he knew that one was ready to be redeemed by him.
A far-fetched analogy? Maybe. But the truth remains the same: “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1.18-19, NLT).
As I get rid of stuff I no longer need or want at a yard sale, I’m giving thanks that God bought me with the precious blood of Jesus. How about you?