Offer It To Him: Weekly Message for 03-28-2023

Dear Friends in Christ,

Have you ever seen a poor person going through a pile of trash? It saddens me to remember, but I have seen it occasionally along the broken streets and buildings left by the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Port au Prince, Haiti, and in very poor areas of Manila, Philippines. The person usually has a pile of things “to keep” close by while haphazardly tossing other items back on the original pile. The phrase “ one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” comes to mind.

I have often been drawn to take this sad reality to prayer. One unexpected reflection that came out of a prayer about this was seeing Jesus as that person sorting through the pile of my trash: the things about myself that I’ve thrown out. That God is the one sorting through the pile of my “trash,” picking up everything I think should be thrown away, looking at it and thinking, “ I can do something with that.” This has made me more than a bit uncomfortable! He goes a step further, however. He turns to me and asks, “Will you give this to me? Let me make something beautiful out of this! I’ll give it back to you when I’m done.”

This is the key to God bringing His good out of anything: I have to offer it to him. He won’t do it if I don’t offer it to him first. An offering to him, made of my own free choice, is what he can transform into grace: grace for myself and for the whole world!

How do I know what he’s asking for? He takes EVERYTHING! Should I offer him this little hangnail? Should I offer him my physical pain? Should I offer him my limitation? Should I offer him my struggle with sin? Yes, he’ll take it!

Remember, though, that everything means literally everything! He will also take my joys, big and small, my happiness, my success, my moments of pure pleasure. Even these things he can transform into grace if I offer them to him! I can sell God short by falling into the line of thought that he only wants the horrible things to turn into grace. If it is offered to him, everything is grace!

The typical phrase heard around the time of Lent is, “Offer it up!” This phrase can tend to have the connotation of difficulty and discomfort. While it is true that offering those things that are difficult and uncomfortable to God transforms them into grace, it is no less true that offering accomplishments and moments of joy are also transformed into grace! For God, it isn’t important whether the thing offered is hard or easy, but that it is offered. He wants me and you to offer it to him.

Let’s not miss out on collaborating with God in bringing graces to the world!

In Christ,

Nicole Buchholz

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