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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Redeemed

The wind whipped through the girl’s hair and the sound of waves lapping on the beach filled her ears.  She held tightly to the red, shiny coke can in her hand.   In a moment her foot stumbled and the bright aluminum slipped from her grip.  The can rolled on the beach and all the sweet contents poured out into the sand.   A dark puddle in the midst of all the bright white.  Feeling frantic now, the girl bent down and tried desperately to push the brown soaked sand back into the coke can.  Her fingers shook.  Her efforts were futile.  The coke was gone and the can was empty.

Then I woke up.  The girl was me.

I had a certain life of joy and sweetness.  Completely untouched by pain or death.  And then in a split second it slipped from my hands and everything that filled my heart and life was gone.  Poured out and soaked up by the thirsty, unforgiving ground.  And my life was empty after that.  For a time I fumbled desperately trying to regain what was lost.  Trying to get that life back.

I know I am not alone.  Maybe it wasn’t the loss of a child.  Maybe for you it was the loss of a spouse or maybe your marriage fell flat and you were left empty, looking at the dark sand of what was once such a beautiful thing.   Maybe your dream has slipped through your fingers and no amount of desperation can bring back what you had staked your hopes on.  Perhaps it is your health that has been lost, and now the life you once had is just a memory.

Are you reaching backwards?  Trying to get back to what seemed so sweet and perfect for a time?

All week long after my dream a word kept coming to me.  It was in my devotionals, in the prayer of a sweet lady at church, on my coffee cup early one morning…    

Redeemed.   To buy back.  To free from what distresses or harms.  To free from captivity by payment of ransom.  To extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental.  To release from blame.  To free from the consequences of sin.  To repair or restore.  (Merriam-Webster.com)

This is something I am utterly convinced that I am incapable of doing.  I cannot redeem what was lost.  But there is One who has and will redeem whatever losses we have suffered.    I cannot explain it or tell you how it may come about in your own life.  I can only tell you that in my heart I am confident that He has begun this  redeeming work in me.  I don’t think I will see it all until eternity, but I hear the whisper of Holy Spirit telling me I can stop trying desperately to scrape the coke stained sand back in can.  Even though what has been lost is unspeakably precious,  He will not leave us empty forever.   If Jesus gave his perfect life to redeem us from an eternity of separation from God- the ultimate brokenness and one that our bad choices have earned for us- then there is nothing too great  in this life for God to redeem!   

A few nights ago I pulled a small, blue leather bible from my shelf.  I opened the cover and read my name and phone number written there on the front page.  I shook my head as I recalled the phone call from the lady who found it in the road near her house about a year ago.  She called and asked if I had lost a bible that fit that description.  I couldn't remember ever owning a bible like that and told her so, but I was curious so  I decided to go by and see her.  Sure enough, when she showed it to me,  it had the name “Rach” with my cell phone number penned on the line for “Presented to.”  I had never seen this bible before.  She insisted that I take it and also the book that was found with it, “Tortured for Christ.”  “You must be meant to have them,” she had said.  As I sat on my bed this week and turned the pages of the bible, I was caught again by the words written in big letters under the title on the title page.  Scrawled as if in a child’s handwriting, it says “Nothing can separate you from the love of God!!”

I don’t know whose bible that was or how in the world it ended up with my name and number in the middle of the road in a neighboring town.   I don’t know who wrote those words.  But I can hear them reverberating  in my heart.  Nothing, not even death, can separate us from the love of God.  And in His perfect love He has and will redeem us and our brokenness.  Even our suffering. 


“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…”  Isaiah 43:1-2

A gift from a dear friend that slipped from my hand and shatterd almost as soon as she gave it to me... I kept it because it reminded me of my life in so many ways.


A new  cup I use often... it reminds me of where my life is headed.



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