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The Beauty of Redeeming the Time

April 18, 2020
on Saturdays we talk about Inner Beauty

Happy weekend dear gals. Today we’re turning our attention to inner beauty, as we do every Saturday. This week as my daughter, especially, has been verbalizing her frustrations over “lost time,” I’ve also been considering the implications of this strange lull in time caused by the necessary social distancing mandates. But as I pondered this in my quiet time, the Lord reminded me that He is a great redeemer of time. Let’s talk about the beauty of redeeming the time.

The ugly truth

Do you join me and my daughter in feeling like some precious time has been lost during this pandemic crisis? My 26-year-old daughter was just getting established in her fairly new job, building relationships with her new small group and becoming more involved in the ministries of her new church when she was furloughed and mandated to stay home. At her age, this past month has felt like an eternity.

But I was just getting into some socialization patterns with new friends, too. And I was just about to take on a new small group and become a greeter at my church. Add to that the pivot I’ve had to make in my business just as a particular revenue stream was beginning to pay big dividends. Argh.

I know many of my readers have missed out on the birth of a grandchild, weddings, graduations, once-in-a-lifetime trips and career transitions. Elective surgeries have been postponed. Some of you are watching children and grandchildren end their senior years without closure and celebration. Some of these losses can be rescheduled; others are simply lost.

Indeed, it does seem like time has been lost…indefinitely…forever. Or at least the events, celebrations, transitions, travels and milestones we had calculated into this period of time have now been shifted into an indefinite space in the future. We can’t even pencil them in with any certainty.

But this is not the first time…

But in my morning quiet times this week I’ve been reflecting on biblical accounts of lost time. And those reflections have given me a new perspective.

  • Abraham and Sarah lost decades waiting for the birth of their son Isaac.
  • Joseph lost over 20 years in slavery and imprisonment before being exalted by Pharaoh to second in command in Egypt.
  • Moses lost 40 years tending another man’s sheep in Midian before leading his own people out of Egypt.
  • The Israelites lost 40 years circling the backside of nowhere before entering the homeland promised to them.
  • And David lost years running from King Saul before he became ascending to the throne of Israel.

And each of these losses followed promises, appointments or anointings. These were people who knew they had a destiny to fulfill, but watched as seemingly empty minutes then hours then days and then years passed. Talk about lost time.

The beauty of redeeming the time

But in each of the cases mentioned above – and so many others – God redeemed the time. He had a purpose even for the fleeting moments. God worked while time passed.

I’m sure that for the people involved, God seemed absent and time seemed wasted and hopes felt dashed and dreams felt doomed. But things are rarely what they seem to be on the surface…with God.

God does some of His most significant work in the empty spaces on our calendars.

  • In Abraham and Sarah’s “lost years,” God weeded out deceit and planted seeds of faith that would grow a family into a nation.
  • In Joseph’s “lost years,” God matured a cocky teenager loathed by his brothers into a wise and prudent man esteemed by a nation.
  • In Moses’ “lost years,” God cooled off a hot-head and taught a pampered prince how to shepherd two million stiff-necked sheep.
  • In the Israelites’ “lost years,” God turned slaves into warriors.
  • And in David’s “lost years,” God transformed a brave shepherd boy into a mighty conqueror and a soulful king.

But in each case, God did a quiet work that required the cooperation of the stalled individual or people. And acts of resistance only slowed down the process, while patience and obedience and faithfulness moved it forward.

Coming out with treasure

Abraham and Sarah, Joseph, Moses and David all came out of their times of loss, waiting and isolation with treasure. But let’s make no mistake about it, time, in and of itself, does not always yield treasure. In order to come out of a time of loss with great gain, we must spend that time seeking God, listening to Him, trusting Him and obeying Him.

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

~ Ephesians 5:15-17

How can we redeem this “lost time” of social distancing, job furloughs, cancelled plans and staying home? We can walk wisely, using the time to seek the Lord and refusing foolish behaviors and thoughts. That’s a tall order and easier said than done, I know. But I truly believe that if you and I will give ourselves to daily seeking the Lord, asking Him what He wants to teach us, do in us, during this time, we will indeed come out of it with treasure.

What treasure?

I’m not sure what God is doing in your life or even mine right now. But here are some possible treasures we could walk out of this season with:

  • a renewed passion for hands-on ministry
  • a new zeal for worshiping with our church families regularly
  • a better understanding of and practice of good hygiene
  • a deeper value of our loved ones and the times we get to spend together
  • a new commitment to have people into our homes more consistently
  • a greater appreciation for our workplaces and coworkers and a renewed excitement about our work
  • an urgent desire to share the gospel
  • a higher value on our medical workers and others who are serving us now
  • a renewed patriotism and unity as a nation
  • not to mention cleaner homes, tidier yards, new fitness regimens, progress on forsaken hobbies or greater patience…ha!

Can you think of other treasures we may bring out of this “lost time” if only we cooperate with God and allow Him to redeem what has seemingly been lost?

Do you have thoughts you’d like to share about today’s topic? I’d love to hear from you today! I tend to take as much time off from work as I can during the weekends, so I may not reply to your comments unless you ask me a direct question. But I’d love for you to carry on this conversation in the comment section below. And you can know for certain that I read and value each and every comment. Please remember that I try to keep this space free from controversy, so let’s stay away from the topic of politics or other divisive issues.

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xoxo, Kay
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23 thoughts on “The Beauty of Redeeming the Time

  1. Kay, thank you for this excellent, uplifting post. I’m in complete agreement with you. I’ve said from the beginning of this pandemic and stay at home order, God is forcing everyone to slow down. It’s time to value our blessings and cherish all we have. For instance, your daughter coming home for awhile. Precious time for your family together. How blessed she is to know she has welcoming parents to return to.
    I appreciate how you acknowledge all the emotions that we are experiencing, providing positive advice to help walk us through.
    Bless you.

  2. What a good Word this morning, Kay! I have been saying that I don’t want to waste this unique time. Surely, if God has stripped away so much of our frantic culture, He has a lesson for us to learn. While I have done some much needed cleaning out, completed a few projects, walked more, and started a new fitness practice, I’m not sure that His lesson is in the new activities as much as it is in the savoring of a slower rhythm to my days. I truly hope that when we do return to “normal”, I will remember the lesson of passing through my days at a slower pace. I may not be able to always keep this pace when regular activities resume, but, I hope my heart has been tuned to hear Him more clearly because of this great pause. Maybe, even in the midst of God honoring business, I can still my heart to hear Him.

  3. What a fabulous post containing words that I unknowingly needed to hear. We have been living in a very fast pace world, always on the go rushing from one thing to the next, all the while missing out on so much. There is so much beauty in this world, right under our noses, that this pandemic is hopefully helping us to take in. In so many ways strangers are coming together for the good of our great country. Let’s continue to pray for our President, the COVID-19 task force, and those in our respective states and towns, that still have so many tough decisions to make. And let’s pray that as restrictions slowly loosen up, we will do our part to prevent the pandemic from making a resurgence before a vaccine is ready to go. God bless!

  4. Your posts are consistently uplifting, Kay! Thank you for your encouragement and for all of your hard work.

  5. Thank you so much for this morning post. We all need to take time and pray to help all us get through the COVID-19. We are going to get through this, but it will be a year that I will never forget.

  6. One of my treasures is that I have two high school sons who will be going off to college soon and I get extra time with them right now! We have done family walks, hikes , board games just to name a few extra things that we have time for now that we are staying home more.

  7. Thank you, Kay! This post is absolutely on target. Thanks for reminding all of us that God looks at time as a refining process. In order to get the most out of this time, it is wise to let go of our notion of cramming activity into every minute. I’m enjoying this slower pace: it has allowed me to have time to study the Bible in more depth and to stop and drink in the beauty around me. I believe God is using this time to bring our focus back to Him. I pray we learn our lessons well enough and that we share them with others.
    Blessings to you and your family,

  8. You are such a gifted writer. Your daily post are fun, entertaining, inspirational and informative. Thank you.

  9. Thank you so much for this God inspired post today. This may be one of your best!! I thank you for the examples you gave and what our outcome from this time can be seen as. Hope is what we always have had, in our Lord and savior. I appreciate the time to remember what my real goal is. May you have a blessed day!

  10. Kay, this was such a great post! It really spoke to me and gives us all something to think about now and moving forward after this is over! I hope you and your family are safe and well!

  11. What an inspiration today’s post was!! Thank you for your insight and wording it so eloquently! I really enjoy your Saturday posts. God Bless You!

  12. Thank you, Kay for this timely and well written word. I always enjoy reading your posts, especially the Saturday posts, but I think this is my favorite. So much perspective, so much truth, so much encouragement! I have shared it with many friends today. And I think this is the first time I have ever left a comment anywhere, if that tells you how much I appreciated it! Blessings!

    Living with grace and gratitude!

    1. Thanks so much Jackie. I really appreciate your kind words, and I especially appreciate you sharing the post with friends. Blessings to you!

  13. Wow!!! What great insight!!
    One if the best post yet since the pandemic! A lot to think about! Thank you Kay!!
    Donna from PA

  14. The future for some of us is not what it use to be. We have had many changes take place with the loss of a loved one, a job loss, or maybe we have decided to make those changes we have always talked about but never had time to think it through before. Some will be good changes. Lessons about what is truely important have not been lost on most of us. We not only will come through. We will be a better country. Let’s hope, more appreciative of what we have in America.

  15. I total understand your daughter frustration. I started a new job on March 9th then March 20th they tell me come back in 2 weeks. they it was dont come back till further notice. Blessing in all this is they are paying for now. but it has me asking God what am I suppose to learn from this time ? I like the idea of getting time back and the wonderful example use

  16. Thank you for writing this!! Your post was an encouragement to me today and a reminder that there is no such thing as “lost” time with God. All is in His plan.

  17. When I broke my leg and was confined to bed for two months, my mama told me that sometimes “God maketh [you] lie down”. I had never thought of that passage in this context, but time proved that this ‘lie down’ was just what me and my family needed at that moment. Thank you for reminding me that this is one of those times again!

    1. Ah yes. My daughter broke her ankle during college and required surgery. She discovered that same truth during that time. And indeed she came out of it with treasure! Thanks for sharing, Lee Ann.