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I didn’t write this (and now I don’t remember where it came from so I cannot give credit to the writer. If the author of this finds it here somehow, please acknowledge yourself….sorry about that), but every part of it comes from my heart. I found this particular line to be of significant importance: “It comforts me that God doesn’t waste anything. Every piece – broken, incomplete or whole – in the collections of our lives is made beautiful and significant in His hands.”

This scripture has always touched me. In fact, so much that I named my crafting business after it – Nothing Wasted. I take old discarded things and try to upcycle/re-create/repurpose them into refreshed or entirely new items because I’ve never liked wasting things either. But it’s interesting that I don’t always equate that with myself and God. I’m glad He does though.

“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.'” John 6:12 (NIV)

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Sparkles from the scalloped, green glass bottle sitting in the window fill my mind with memories of my grandmother. She was the original owner of the bottle, and once it contained sweet perfume.

The bottle was once stored in Grandma’s basement, where I’d go on treasure hunts as a little girl. Shelves in a dimly lit room held mysteries like my grandfather’s fossil collection and my grandmother’s collection of Avon perfume bottles, of which my precious green bottle was one. There were tall bottles and short ones. There were shiny glass bottles and heavy ceramic jars. My favorite one was covered with elegant ladies in 18th century voluminous dresses.

Each bottle was unique. Many were in perfect condition, but a few were chipped and worn. I can envision Grandma pouring over her catalogs choosing each bottle with time and care. Her collection carries scents and memories of people and places, some sweet and others bitter.

Those bottles are like the circumstances of my life. Some are happy, but sadness infuses others. A few have left me with scars, but lots have left me better than before. Just like the bottles, the collection of events in my life is more beautiful when viewed together than individually.

It comforts me that God doesn’t waste anything. Every piece – broken, incomplete or whole – in the collections of our lives is made beautiful and significant in His hands.

Just think about the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 hungry people in John 6. The people had followed Jesus out of town to listen to His teaching and watch Him heal. They were all still gathered as mealtime approached. The disciples asked Jesus how He planned to feed the crowd, and Jesus miraculously produced enough food for the crowd from a boy’s small lunch of five loaves and two fishes.

Once everyone was fed, it seemed the story would end, but Jesus had one more lesson to teach. He instructed the disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted” (John 6:12b NIV). It wasn’t enough for Jesus to feed the people until they were full. He wanted every last crumb collected.

There’s nothing that escapes the notice of God. Everything matters to Him. Not only does it matter, but if you are His child, He promises that every part of your life will be used for your good and His glory.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV). This verse tells us that God uses our grief, our joy, our loss, our gain, our trials and our triumphs. Nothing is wasted.

Today may hold hard things—a sick child, a grouchy boss, an unforgiving friend. Or it may hold beautiful things—a new love, a chat with a neighbor, an affectionate pet. Either way, we can trust God that He is collecting the pieces of our life in His hand and creating something more beautiful than we can imagine.

Dear Lord, I trust You with every circumstance and moment of my life. Help me to see glimpses of how You are making my life beautiful for You. I trust that You don’t waste anything, but You use everything. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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