Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 5.20.15 – Under the Surface: One Powerful Picture


Just look at that picture. Wonder what that is? It’s a pile of junk dozens of volunteers recently drug out of a local lake (Summit Lake for you Akron area readers) over a few hours on a late April Saturday morning.

What’s that have to do with you and me? Why should this picture cause us to think – and act?

That morning, as volunteers gathered, NO ONE knew that all of that was there. Could we have guessed? Sure, but most folks who saw the picture found themselves shocked that just a few hundred yards of shoreline could contain that much stuff.

This picture relates to our lives. Let me develop a few thoughts regarding how:

1. Most (ok, I can’t say all) people have junk below the surface.

The past, grief, trauma, sins, embarrassment, shame – they all linger at different depths below the surface of life. Often pain, anger, emotion, and spiritual and psychological consequence accompany this “junk” that remains hidden.

2. Often we don’t know about other people’s junk.

Just as it was impossible for any volunteer to know what amount of junk would come out of the lake, circumstances make it very difficult to fully know the types of things hiding in people’s lives.

How to best help someone when information remains hidden?

3. The picture is a picture of hope.

The junk CAN come out. It should bring every human being truckloads of hope that the junk affecting us CAN come out. But I won’t suggest the process comes with ease.

This pile of junk took hours of volunteer labor from dozens of people. The junk we’ve buried in our lives may take effort to come out.

The key hope we have lies in the fact we can’t hide from God. Just like God knew the bottom of the lake, He knows the bottom of our souls. He wants us to turn from our sins, trust Him, and allow His strength to lead us toward what’s true.

Further, hope doesn’t set in until we decide the work must begin. We must meet Jesus at the cross, repenting of sin and trusting in Christ alone for forgiveness and eternal life. We must trade the lies of the junk for the truth of Jesus and God’s Word. Then, we can be set free (John 8:32).

4. We can’t take the junk out by ourselves.

Teamwork brought the junk in the picture to the surface. Similarly, we can’t get junk out on our own.

First, we must admit the need for God’s help. We will find Him perfectly willing and loving to help us overcome.

Second, we must learn to trust others even if others caused the pain in the first place. Just because others may have hurt us doesn’t mean people can’t help us. The slow process of finding trustworthy helpers, prayer warriors, accountability partners, and caregivers pays off big time in the long run as the presence of supporters defeats the repeated attacks of loneliness and private despair.

Think. What are you hiding? Are you willing to talk about it or would you rather it stay buried?

Act. Take a courageous step to share your burdens. Turn first to the healing and forgiving power of Christ. Then find trusted others who can help you grow away from the past and into the fullness God intends for us. Just be sure to understand the junk won’t come out fast: set those expectations realistically!

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