“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:10-13 ESV).

“Waste not, want not”—this adage was quoted, and possibly coined, by writer Maria Edgeworth in 1800.

On the homestead, as much as possible, nothing goes to waste. Pallets get used as fencing for the pigs. Food scraps get converted to eggs and bacon and roasted chicken. Fallen leaves go into the compost pile. Fallen tree limbs and branches go to the woodpile awaiting usefulness in the woodstove on a cold winter night. Even old issues of The Southeast Outlook make great tinder to get a fire started.

God provides so much to us. Sometimes this is hard to see in a “throw-away” society. Back in the day, if something was broken, you took the time to fix it. Today we just throw it away. Once I found a practically new super-size cooler in a dumpster. Why did someone throw it away? It needed to be cleaned.

God in His sovereignty has placed in our lives the year 2020: COVID-19, social unrest, protests and riots, anger and division. Far too easily people are throwing away perfectly good relationships, possibly because they have gotten too messy. Marriages, families, friends and neighbors are divided, broken, cluttered, carried out to the road as garbage.

Waste not, want not.

I would submit to you that God has provided for us in this season what Paul describes in Philippians. I implore you, please don’t just throw things away. Look for the beauty in the broken. Look for ways to redeem what some may call trash. I know we can. Why? Because we who follow Christ can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

To God be the Glory!

Denny Dillman is benevolence pastor at Southeast’s Blankenbaker Campus.