I just love getting a surprise gift – especially if it comes on a non-designated gift-giving occasion. And I’m not just talking about receiving “things.” I don’t mind receiving tangible gifts, but what I love most are gifts that can’t be bought or wrapped. I appreciate the gift of words – words of encouragement, a word of wisdom, or an introduction to a new idea. I enjoy receiving the gift of laughter when friends share funny stories with me. I treasure the gift of time when people let me enjoy their company. I am especially honored and blessed when people give me the gift of their trust, something I dearly cherish. These are the kinds of gifts I love the most. God has graciously surrounded me with thoughtful, loving people who fill my life with so many precious gifts and I am profoundly grateful.
Today a dear friend gave me a beautiful gift of recommending a song by Jason Gray called “Nothing is Wasted.” That song had a profound effect on me. I have not been able to stop thinking about it so I decided to write about it. All the credit for this blog goes to Mr. Gray whose words captured an important spiritual truth that brought me great hope and comfort. As the chorus of the song says, “Nothing is wasted. Nothing is wasted. In the hands of our Redeemer, nothing is wasted.”
Take a moment and think about that statement. Let it roll around in your mind. Let it sink into your heart. Let it encourage your spirit. There are so many circumstances, situations, and emotions that we would rather not endure. They are hurtful and difficult. We often wonder why our loving God would allow us to go through such pain and suffering. These words remind us that our God is bigger than we can fathom. When going through trials it is too easy to lose sight of how vast and extensive His power, love and grace are. Satan may mean things for evil, but our God is in the redeeming business. He sent His Son and we are redeemed. Our lives are redeemed. Our situations are redeemed. Our emotions are redeemed. All of life is redeemed through the powerful atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Everything that is placed in the hands of the Savior is redeemed – everything! What difficult situations or emotions need redeeming in your life?
- Personally, I find rejection to be one of the most difficult situations and emotions to handle. It undermines any sense of self-worth. But in the hands of our Redeemer, the rejection from others can be used by Him to draw us closer to the heart of God where we will find complete acceptance, love, and assurance of our inestimable worth.
- Loneliness and alienation build walls that separate us and make us vulnerable to attacks from the evil one. But in the hands of our Redeemer, the emptiness of loneliness can be filled to complete fullness through a more intimate relationship with Father, Son, and Spirit. We belong to God and He will never, ever leave us alone.
- Insecurity and doubts can become burdens that keep us from living fully for Christ. But in the hands of our Redeemer, these feelings can lead us to true humility and reliance on the Spirit’s power within so that we become even more effective disciples than we thought we could be.
- No one likes to fail, but we all do. The feeling of failure robs us of one of the great needs of humanity – the need for significance. We wonder if our life has a purpose or is making a difference. But in the hands of our Redeemer, those failures can be learning experiences that make us stronger and more reliant on God.
- Sorrow is an emotion our culture does not handle well. We try to medicate it away, make ourselves too busy to feel, or fill our lives with “things” to compensate for the loss. But in the hands of our Redeemer, we realize that our grief is precious to Him. He understands deep sorrow. Isaiah 53:3 reminds us He was a man of sorrows. He has walked the road before us and will walk with us to comfort, strengthen and guide.
No, none of us wants to spend time with deep pain in our heart or tears streaming down our faces. But even our tears are not wasted. I love Psalm 56:8 in the New King James version that says, “You number my wanderings; put my tears into your bottle; are they not in your book?” God cares about the tears we shed, the pain we bear, and the struggles we face. He not only cares, but He also makes sure nothing is wasted and is constantly redeeming all things (good and bad) for our good and His glory – if we let Him. You know all too well what needs redeeming in your life. Put it in the hands of the Redeemer and hold onto this important truth: “nothing is wasted in the hands of our Redeemer.”
I am encouraged and comforted by the words of Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Nothing is wasted because God is lovingly, faithfully, and patiently conforming us into the image of Jesus Christ.