Tuesday, October 29, 2019

God's Waste Management System"

Jeremiah 37.9-10 NLT

“This is what the Lord says: Do not fool yourselves into thinking that the Babylonians are gone for good. They arent! Even if you were to destroy the entire Babylonian army, leaving only a handful of wounded survivors, they would still stagger from their tents and burn this city to the ground!”

While you and I are at our cushy jobs, Carlos Barrios is at work performing what is arguably the worst occupation on earth.[1] He’ll be submerged in a disgusting brew of garbage, toxic waste, bacteria, human excrement, dead animals, and even the occasional rotting corpse of a forgotten murder victim. Carlos is a Sewer Diver in one of the world’s largest and most polluted metropolises… Mexico City. His job is to clear blockages in sewer lines to ensure contaminated waters do not back up into city streets, subway tunnels, or people’s homes. Carlos is an expert at his job. He even likes what he does. 

The word of God tells it like it is. It says what we don’t want to hear….

“Don’t fool yourselves into thinking that the Babylonians
[your oppressive problems] are gone for good. They aren’t!”

Apparently our personal problems are here to stay. Like raw sewage, our individual issues are manageable as long as they remain underground and flow into God’s treatment center where we learn about repentance, forgiveness, discipline, and love. That’s God’s waste management plan. We all carry certain amounts of ugliness just below the surface and sometimes an obstruction clogs the line. We occasionally get really mad or very hurt. We fume and fuss and eventually our garbage bubbles up and spews out for all to see... and smell. We raise a stink and get that stink on anyone in our path.

That’s where Jesus comes in. Like Mexico City’s sewer diver, He heads right for the obstruction. It’s often hard to find. We try to hide our inner garbage beneath the surface, wedging it in deep smelly crevices of secret hurt and pain. But there it is, and when God’s word sheds its light, Christ takes hold of the obstruction by neck and forcibly removes it for good. Our problems (pressures, temptations, and complexities of life) are not gone, but their negative by-products (over-reaction, depression, and resignation, withdrawal, bitterness, and isolation) become manageable, even removable. 

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the Babylonians
[your oppressive problems] are gone for good. They aren’t!”

But when a problem gets out of hand, it may be time to send in heaven’s Sewer Diver. There’s an obstruction and it needs removing. Jesus is an expert at that and He likes His job.


[1] For actual film footage of Carlos Barrios at work in the bowels of Mexico City check out this nearly un-watchable video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlRjbV-rT-E.

1 comment:

nitewrit said...


How true.

Larry E.