You know the teeny tiny print on the tube of toothpaste that no one probably ever reads? Well, I read it. I read EVERYTHING. I can be brushing my teeth and be reading the back of the liquid soap dispenser! I know – very pathetic! If there is a list of rules posted somewhere at a park or kids’ play area, you can just bet your bottom dollar that I will have read them! I also read labels to see where products were made, and I started a new habit of praying for whatever missionary I know in that country. Since the majority say “Made in China”, my friends, Natasha Tolson, Stephanie Taube, and Crystal Johnson get prayed for quite often.
(Before you think that all I do is go around my house reading labels, just remember I have 5 kids so I don’t really have TIME to do that, so I’m not as nutty as I’m making this sound.)
Now there are some things that the companies just don’t want you to read (that’s why it’s in miniscule print on the back or worded in a strange way). Have you ever noticed those little signs they hang up in the hotel bathroom? Encouraging you to recycle your towel? Here’s one to refresh your memory….
“Please reuse your towels.” OR…..”IF you want a fresh, dry one tomorrow, throw on the floor. Don’t hang up!” (Of course our natural impulse is to hang it back up, right? Unless you are an 11 year old.)
As missionaries we travel quite often and many times stay in hotels. Since our family of 7 usually uses all 4 of the towels they give us and then some, ….our towels do get recycled by the same family members in the same night.
One evening in a hotel, I started thinking about this, how that many times in our Christian life we may feel overwhelmed, burnt out with ministry or just plain tired. I thought when I started my ministry, that there would never come a day where I would feel tired or burnt out. But over the years as a missionary wife,many times I found myself spiritually like the towel that needs to be refreshed, not just hung back up hapharzardly on the drying rack. Struggles in the ministry, trying to balance family time, and carrying the burdens of people’s problems weighed on me heavily. I finally realized that I couldn’t handle all this day in and day out. I had to be refreshed each and every day. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34 Why worry about yesterday’s problems when the Bible says we can give our burdens to the Lord. “Casting all your care upon Him, for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:7 Every day I need to throw the burden of the “damp and dirty towel on the floor” so that the Lord can pick it up and give me a new and fresh day. As the Bible says in Ephesians 4:23-24 says, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Maybe if we left our burdens with the Lord each evening or in other words, spiritually “threw our towel” down on the floor to get a fresh and new one in the morning, then our lives wouldn’t be so frazzled. I love this promise in Lamentations 3:22 – 23 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed with ourselves and our little petty problems. We may have a bad day today, but the LORD promises us that his mercies will be new in the morning. He will never fail us.
I know this next quote isn’t Bible, but I love the fictional charactar, Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. She was always getting into trouble and would get down in the mouth about it. But she finally learns a promising lesson — “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it…… yet?”
When we become so burdened with so much junk that goes on in life, we let ourselves get down and depressed: and it’s almost like we become like that damp, dirty “recycled” towel, something no one really wants to use and a vessel that the Lord shouldn’t have to use. Instead of hanging on to problems that depress us or cause us to think the world is against us, we should look to the Lord and ask him to renew our mind. Believe in His promises, that He is with us each and every step of the way; and that each day He gives us is another day to use for Him. Why waste it worrying when we can have a fresh start in our daily walk with Him today? So the next time you get a fresh towel, remember that the Lord also can give us a fresh new start in our walk with Him.