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.
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.