Walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness, and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord...walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. ~Ephesians 5: 8b-10, 15, 16~
Our world is filled with ideas and designs, yet there is not a single idea or design which originated with man. God created. Man, inspired by His creation, imitates. This is seen not only in things that are designed, built or produced, but also in the way that man views this world. The farther man strays from God's truth, the more his worldview becomes distorted; nevertheless, every idea originated with God.
Take for example the idea of recycling. We see the concept of recycling throughout creation: a flower dies but its seeds fall to the ground and another flower springs up from those seeds. But it is not only in nature that such recycling is seen, the pattern of recycling is a spiritual concept as well as a physical. In the language of Scripture, the idea of recycling is termed redemption -- the Lord redeems broken hearts, lives and bodies. He restores by transforming loss into life.
God never wastes anything. What He allows to touch my life in this moment is to prepare, re-shape and provide for what will arise in the next moment. There is depth and design to all that God has created as well as to what He permits His creation to encounter. He is not bound by time, but He ordained the laws of time. While outside of time, He prepares us for what will come in time, and all who surrender to be shaped within the realm of time are redeeming that time for eternity.
In other words, as I surrender to God's will being done in this realm (of time) as it is done in Heaven, time is being redeemed. With such knowledge, my understanding of loss is transformed. I can face any loss with an assurance that it is wrought with multi-faceted purposes of redemption. Some fruits of the Lord's recycling handiwork will not be seen on this side of eternity, but others will be clearly seen. In fact, there are specific recycling promises throughout God's Word.
With any form of suffering or trial there is some sort of loss. The thought of rejoicing in the midst of our losses is foreign to our desires, but Romans 5:3-5 explains tht the Lord's promise of recycling is a good reason to rejoice: because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given to us.
As I surrender to the losses which God allows, each loss will be recycled to enable the Spirit's fruit to blossom from my life...specific loss producing specific fruit; fruit that is essential for tomorrow, fruit that will endure when the pain of loss has faded and fruit which evokes hope, causing me to see loss through the lens of God's love.
Part II will soon follow...