Life’s Stinky Experiences – July 6, 2015

My dad (Pop Ring) has always had a garden every year since I was about 10 years old. That’s when we moved from Kansas City to Arkansas. I am now 53 years old so Pop has been producing a beautiful garden for over 40 years for his family to enjoy.

One of the things that sticks out in my mind about my dad’s gardening techniques is the fact that he has always liked to use fertilizer, and not the kind you buy at the local feed store. No, I’m talking about the kind that you get from the chicken or turkey farms that you have to scoop up and haul it away in your truck…manure. It smells, but it works! The aroma is not very pleasant, but when dad would put that stuff on his garden, great things were sure to grow. The stink? It wasn’t very nice, but what grows from it sure is.

Sometimes we go through life and we have to deal with some stuff that stinks.

When you read from Genesis chapter 49 it speaks of the life of Joseph, whose life was filled with so much trial and so much triumph. He was rejected by his brothers, favoured by his father, left in a pit by his brothers and taken to a slave trade place and bought by a General in Egypt. He had a wonderful life there; he was living in a mansion. But he was thrown into prison falsely accused, and then ultimately elevated to the second most powerful position in the world as Assistant Pharaoh.

Here’s what it says about his life: “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; (It was actually his brothers.) they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady. His strong arms stayed limber because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.” See, Joseph lived a fruitful life after going through a lot of rotten things. He said to his brothers in chapter 50, verse 20 of Genesis, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

See, the worst thing – the stinkiest thing that ever happen to Joseph – produced an incredibly, rich outcome. God often works that way. The stuff that stinks often becomes the stuff that grows the most beautiful things. That might just be very important for you to remember right now, because you’re in the middle of some ugly things.

If you walk through this with Jesus, it can produce some of the most beautiful fruit you’ve ever had grow in your life. Like a deep closeness with your Creator. He is, the Bible says, “a very present help in time of trouble.” When it’s hurting time, you get to know Him as others who have lighter loads never will, because you’re driven to Him. You develop an intimacy with the One who loves you the most.

Life’s stinky experiences also bring you to a new humility and as a result of humility, a new power that comes from being totally dependent on God. It could be there’s some pride blocking God’s best. But the pride goes as the Lord pours on the fertilizer of adversity. Other good results grow in the smelly soil of life, like closer relationships with those you love, opportunities for miracles to happen, opportunities to share Christ with people who wouldn’t listen to you if it weren’t for your pain. Even if it was intended for evil, God plans to use it for good. Don’t be alarmed now; just stay tuned for the harvest that God is preparing to send.

If you get a lot of stinky stuff coming your way, remember it’s probably God’s compost. It stinks right now, but you are going to love the fruit it brings.

Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ.”

Pastor Terry
Family Worship Center

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