IMG 0257The Levites - Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah - said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God!”

“May you be blessed, O LORD our God, from age to age. May your glorious name be blessed; may it be lifted up above all blessing and praise. You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, along with all their multitude of stars, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You impart life to them all, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. Nehemiah 9:5-6 (NETFull)

A smell of sour milk wafted into my car window in India long before I could identify the source. Blocks later, I spotted mountains of garbage overflowing a landfill. On top of the layers of plastic bags, broken cement, and roadside filth were dome-shaped hovels made from the same refuse beneath them. And next to the huts were humans walking over the rubbish like ants searching for bits of life.

I approached a family to share the gospel through my interpreter, only to discover they were already Christians. They were chased to the city dump by persecuting Hindus living in the refuge camp.

One fellow stuck in my mind. Besides his ghastly living conditions, his fingers were missing because of leprosy. He used his stubs to sift garbage for any recycling he could sell to salvagers. There he stood, the soil beneath his feet made of human trash, white nubs for fingers, and a toothless grin because he had the joy of the Lord in his heart. The family repeatedly thanked me because I merely stopped to encourage them.

I am relieved that in the kingdom of God the first will be last and the last will be first. That man will be honored through eternity because he stood above his rubbish heap and shined the love of Christ.

What rubbish is beneath my feet? Do I let money problems, health failure, or family grievances pull me down under the garbage? Or do I use this time on earth as my opportunity to stand on top of suffering and grin because I have the love of God in my heart?

This is my time, my moment to put all the smelly broken things of life beneath my feet, raise my head, and sing to God.

Prayer: God my Savior, may I praise you no matter what comes my way.

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