I like it when life is neat and tidy and when things go as planned. I like it when love is real and friends are faithful and God is blessing in amazing ways. I like it when people are nice and sin isn’t derailing me or someone I love. I like it when life is good.
But the truth is that there is hardly ever a time when everything in life is going well. There is always something in life that is messy, either because I made it that way through my own sin or lack of wisdom, because someone else made it that way for me, or because it’s just the consequence of living in this imperfect world.
I know you can relate. Your life is never neatly tied in a bow of perfection either. But there is no need to despair, because God is always doing something that is making beautiful things out of your messes: He is redeeming them.
I recently heard Pastor Bryan Chapell talk about God’s redemption. He said that in the beginning in the Garden, all was perfect. It was exactly what God had planned. No sin. No selfishness. No murders. No divorce, or naughty kids, broken hearts, tears, or trouble. Just God’s perfection. And, at the end of time, when Jesus returns and reconciles all things to Himself, again there will be perfection. But in this in-between time where you and I live, there is trouble. But as I said, there is no need to despair because He is redeeming all our troubles in this in-between time. He is always working to bring good out of bad (Jeremiah 29:11). No matter how horrible our circumstances, He brings good out of what is horrible. Can you imagine if He wasn’t a Redeemer? What despair! What sadness! But what hope we have, and what joy we can know because God is always doing good to bring His light into our darkness.
Not only that, but we get to participate in His redeeming work. We get to be the person who forgives the one who lied to us; we get to love the ones who hate us; we have the wonderful experience of growing stronger when life is hard; we have the privilege of loving God more—not in spite of what happened to us—but because of what has happened to us.
CBS once aired a program in which Steve Hartman reported about a woman named Mary, whose only son, 20-year old Laramiun, was murdered. Mary could have hated her son’s murderer. She could have gotten the justice she wanted. But instead, she participated in God’s redemption. It’s a story you don’t want to miss.
How will you participate in God’s redemption in your own life?