Recycling works! Here's the proof...

Seen recently on a sign outside a church in a nearby town...

“Want a new life? God takes trade-ins.”

This winter has been a rough one in many locales.

The illness bug has become a boa constrictor, squeezing many people ill with the flu or bad colds or worse.

The weather hasn’t helped with yet another school snow day this week, complete with sleet and icy conditions. More on the way.

The stock market has suddenly turned into a roller coaster, WAY up and then WAY down. Many folks have been worrying over their IRAs and 401-K’s to see how much they’ve lost in recent days.

Recent surveys show that school students are feeling more stress now than before. That inevitably leads to other problems, perhaps even life threatening situations.

Despite all of our technology and advances in recent years designed to improve the quality of life – that quality doesn’t seem to be improving, does it?

It’s easy to feel used up, worn out, no longer worth much. Go find that hole and crawl into it.

Why even try when life just seems to have the habit of smacking you down?

How do you get ahead in today’s society? How do you even keep your head above water?

There’s an answer. One that’s always been here. One that may be literally just down the street.

Come to church.

The Bible is filled with the stories of people just like us who were abandoned, or used up, or worn out, or someone who needed a change.

Joseph was a young man of privilege, until his brothers sold him out, tossed him in a pit, then sold him into slavery.

It would have been easy for him to throw in the towel, be a nobody, stay a slave.

But God had a plan for Joseph, one where he saves the same brothers who turned their back on him years before. By doing so he saved his people for uncounted generations to come.

Moses was someone who had it all – adopted son of the Pharaoh of Egypt, rich as can be, all the perks. But after an altercation he became an outcast, dismissed, on the run. All he had previously was lost.

He became a lowly desert shepherd, consigned to a life on the fringes. No hope.

Until God called him one day. To save his people Israel, bring them out of Egypt eventually to the Promised Land.

Most if not all of Jesus’ disciples were simple fishermen or worse yet, tax collectors. Barely surviving in many cases as part of the growing Roman Empire. Invisible, just existing, no big dreams.

Then the Savior of Man came along and taught them to be fishers of men. Their actions launched a church that has saved billions of people.

Paul was one of those people who persecuted the disciples and other early Christians before the Lord struck him blind and lowered this once stately zealot to no more than a pauper. Everything gone along with his sight.

But instead God saw a man ready for a trade-in. Ready for a new life as perhaps His greatest missionary. The rest is history.

Have you been having that used car feeling – worn out, a little dinged, rust on the edges, too many miles, no longer worth much?

Or perhaps you’re younger but still don’t like what you see in the future – few prospects, not much money, nowhere to go, a permanent dweller of your parents’ basement.

God has shown over and over throughout history – He takes trade-ins. In fact He excels with trade-ins. No special financing needed. His super deal is one that anyone can do, if they’re willing to make the choice.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

In our 21st century society of seemingly constant action, overwhelming information, increasing stress, non-stop national arguing and worries around every corner, a simple answer is within easy reach.

Come to church. Or come back to church.

Throughout the 2,000 year history of the Christian faith the brother and sisterhood of fellow believers has always been a strength. From small groups to large congregations, people of faith have gathered together to worship God, praise His name and feel the energy of His grace. Together.

Do some web searching for stories of car enthusiasts who have taken a battered vehicle into the shop. After some tender loving care, that only a Creator can give, the car comes out later looking like new. With a new purpose and a new life.

You’re not alone. You’re never alone.

If your soul is troubled, or you feel tired and worn down, or the pressures of life are dragging you down, no matter your age...

God takes trade-ins. His door is always open. But you need to make the choice to walk in and accept His yoke.

Let Him lead. When you do that the work is easy, the burden is light, and the reward – priceless.

Recycling isn’t just for boxes, cans, glassware and plastic bottles. It’s never too late to recycle your life and begin anew. The choice is yours.

From George Churchgoer