As a kid, I had many aspirations. I thought maybe I'd be a teacher, psychologist, or maybe even president. I thought I'd do incredible things like climb mountains and make great speeches. Never, ever in my life did I see myself picking up trash.
Trash is gross. There is no way around that fact. It stinks and has germs and is ugly. Yet, on this trip one of my team's favorite things to do was pick up trash. Why? When we humbled ourselves to perform this job, the Lord chose to reveal Himself to us in entirely new ways. On my team of 12, I heard stories from around half of them of what God showed them while picking up trash. I remember being amazed by this. Sure, I had enjoyed my time praying while cleaning our assigned location, but I wasn't having any extreme revelations. However, on our last day picking up trash, the Lord spoke.
There were way too many of us at this location. At least, that's what I thought until I really got cleaning. I started just picking up a piece of trash here and there, but then I found my spot. It was a gap in the ground that had a very nice layering of grossness on it's surface. I hopped in and got to work, not realizing what I had just gotten myself into. I was at one 3 by 5 foot spot for over an hour. Whenever I thought I had made progress, I found another stash to be picked up! It was actually humorous how much trash there was to be picked up on this one little spot compared to what I was expecting.
Remember the lady I told you about yesterday? When we spoke about Isis, she said she tries every day to forgive them, but then hatred boils up again. She told me that she doesn't even think they are human, that they are actually devils. For a second, I agreed with her. How can humans commit such awful sins against humans? But while picking up trash, God showed me His answer to me.
Underneath layers and layers of trash, there is still ground. No matter how much trash is piled upon the ground, that does not change that it is ground. The ground doesn't get to choose what trash is piled upon it. That is not to say that the ground doesn't allow weeds to grow too, but trash is literally thrown upon the ground, polluting it, without any say from the ground. How much grossness has been forced upon many hearts? Piled until the heart is barely recognizable and a "devil" is left in its place. Yet God still sees the heart beyond the trash.
When God showed this to me, I said "but God, I cannot ever fully clean this ground." It was true. Even if I picked up every large piece of trash, the ground would still have the shriveled remains of bags that had deteriorated. Shards of glass would have still been left untouched. Yet God said "but I can."
It is not my job to fix the world. I cannot heal broken hearts or tear down barricades around them. That will never be my job, and for that I am thankful. However, it is my job to say yes. Every day I have to choose to say yes to the Lord and all that He desires from me. It is a joy to say yes, because even if I cannot melt a frozen heart I can trust that when I follow the Holy Spirit's prompting I can be used to put a stitch on a wound or a chip in a wall. Saying yes to God is all I am responsible to do. The rest is in His very capable hands.