THE OLD MAN AND THE MANURE PILE

Fresh horse manure right out of the ‘tube’ stinks pretty bad. However, once the manure has aged a bit, it stinks less. After a while, when nicely composted, it will even acquire a nice earthy smell that hints of the new life and vitality of the soil.

For us old guys, regrets linger, like manure scattered on the barn floor, waiting to be scooped from the barn to the garden and worked into the garden soil of time. With the passing of years and God’s grace, the good Lord can redeem even those things from the past that haunt our souls and beleaguered our minds and hearts, and use them for good in the lives of those who come after us and for His Glory. Hey, manure happens…. But God’s grace is greater than our sin.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. “at in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 2 Co 5:21.

If there is a lesson in this for us old guys with history, it is this; old age yields an opportunity to enrich the soil in which the next generation will arise. What we have learned from the disappointments and heartaches of life, as well as the joys, may be of value to those who follow us. So, gather up the thoughts and emotions, the experiences of life from yesteryear and put them to good use, while there is still a measure of health and strength.

Solomon did precisely that when he preserved for later generations his collection of the Proverbs in the Bible and the account of his life ramblings in Ecclesiastes. Solomon tried a lot of things, not many of them ended well for him, kind of like us in our lives.

[Solomon] the Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth. The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ec 12:10–11.

Nevertheless, if God used the bitter and the sweet in Solomon’s life for the greater good in growing the next generation to walk in the ways of God, he can use our ‘stuff’ too. Jesus offers His grace and power to us to live for Him before others.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 2 Co 12:9.

Dr. Don Trest

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