It is amazing what you can find on televsion when you are bored.

The other day my son and I were channel surfing when we came upon a cooking show that has a kooky premise. The idea is that three amateur chefs are given a selection of leftovers and they have to see what gourmet recipe they can make from them.

In one round they were given fast food leftovers, including French fries and a McFish sandwich. I am not kidding. I won’t spoil it for you in case you decide to check it out by the results included gnocchi and a fancy seafood sauce.

If you know me, you will know how much I love January. I love the fresh start, the hopeful blank page stretching out ahead of me and the creativity it always sparks. But this new year is different. It feels less like a beautiful blank page and more like, well, a fridge full of leftovers.

And my leftovers from 2020 aren’t looking pretty.

I have accumulated a rather unsavoury stash of disappointment and discouragement. Months of cancelled plans and bewildering circumstances have taken their toll. There are hurts I haven’t processed and piles of regrets, mess-ups and missteps.

Thankfully, My God is not an amateur.

He doesn’t just whip up clever recipes. No, He makes feasts out of loaves and fishes and turns water into wine.

He doesn’t want to creatively disguise my leftovers; He wants to transform them.

He doesn’t want to just varnish over my brokenness or upcycle my pain, He wants to heal them. When I take my leftovers and place them at the foot of the cross, they become an offering and in His capable hands they are redeemed.

When I give my disappointments to God, faith and trust are the beautiful by-products. When I choose forgiveness, pain becomes worship. When I am humble and teachable, regret makes way for wisdom.

Because leftovers can’t just be ignored or they fester, taking up prime real estate in my soul, choking my faith and joy.

But if I bring them into the light and lift the lids, facing what is there, I can give them to God. And I can trust His unrivalled power to make something out of nothing, to create provision out of scraps and beauty out of ashes.

May 2021 be a year that I set aside the weight of leftovers and run my race well.

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