Trying to get the house 'back in order' today after 10 days away, I placed a newly purchased bag of Oreo's in a Tupperware and threw the plastic bag away. I continued my grocery journey into the bathroom to put the shampoo away when I heard the 'creeeaak' of the pantry cupboard. Bentley. I walked back into the kitchen to see him digging that same empty Oreo bag OUT of the garbage. Yuck!
"Yucky!!" I told him, as I re-tossed the bag into the trash. But as I dropped it back into the garbage, I thought how easy it is to mistaken our trash for treasure--even after we've tossed it out.
Last week, I shared an amazing experience with my High School Youth Group on a Reach Camps Mission Trip to Joliet, Illinois!! (If you've never heard of Reach, please take the time to look them up! They truly have figured out the perfect balance to spending time with JESUS and serving HIM for youth! )
During one of our last program nights, we were asked to write down an obstacle that blocked us from spending time WITH Jesus. Our program director shared that even GOOD things, like doing things FOR God, can get in the way of spending time WITH Him---it was like he read my heart. It wasn't hard for me to write a note to God detailing the things I'd allowed to blockade me from HIS will for me, spending time at HIS feet--just like Mary. After I wrote my note to God, I walked up stage and literally threw my obstacle into the trash. Gone of good, to never distract me from spending time with Christ again, right?!
But, what if, like that Oreo bag, my obstacle came back to surface? What if it looked new and shiny and even appetizing? My almost 2 year old was tricked by a new looking bag that when opened was void of any substance. That's just like Satan. He uses things that LOOK good, LOOK promising, they may even be called "Ministry" or "God's work". After all, if they were called "Satan's work"...we would surly turn away. That's how he knows to decorate obstacles that turn us from spending time with Christ. They look harmless, good deeds even, but if they're taking us away from spending time with Christ, then he is winning us over with an empty bag of Oreo's that have been dug out of the trash.
We imprison ourselves with these obstacles. The bars of temptation, busyness, gossip, comparison, work, comfort, vanity, materials on Earth....imprison us from spending time WITH God, and doing His will in response. Satan is not stupid, he uses things that look promising and good to distract us from THE promise and what is GREAT.
I've made a vow to God, as well as a fellow camper friend, to keep my trash in the trash. Satan can have it. There will be no recycling of my garbage distractions. NO....the empty Oreo bag may look appealing, but NOTHING compares to HOW HE LOVES ME SO!
This is a song a few of the girls in my Crew shared with us last week, and I simply cannot stop singing it. Thank you Crew #516...I want to be just like you when I grow up!