(Image via Unsplash)
Upcycle: reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original
Recently I was reminded how easy it can be for my spirit to get worn down, for its paint to flake off, hinges to rust and snap, and slowly break apart when I decide to grab for control or think I can do it.
Funny thing about those times is that you don’t always realize it. It’s like you’re sitting in a room, the lights shut off and windows covered. Your eyes are closed because you’ve decided they and your head are too tired to look beyond your little room. The door has been shut, and when you do venture out it’s to tell those kids to get off your lawn.
I’m somewhat exaggerating, but sort of not. In floating into this just some, and then Jesus flicking the lights back on just as quick and helping me off my rump, I again realized how easy it is.
And soaring on the tail of that humbling realization comes the knowledge of how awesome is the redeeming – or upcycling – power of Christ.
Redeem: to clear by payment, buy back, recover, exchange, or convert. I think that sounds an awful lot like upcycling. And to me, it also sounds comforting. Reassuring.
He does this to our lives, our actions, our thoughts, our families, our homes, our dreams, and our mistakes. He strengthens the inner frame, adds fresh paint, replaces some rusted parts, tightens the screws, oils the hinges to welcoming smoothness, reinforces those ancient parts there since the beginning – perhaps tweaking its purpose in the process – and returns it to its prime spot.
So often he takes that which looks beyond salvaging – dilapidated, falling to rot and nails – and flips it. He makes it into something greater than the original while preserving the history – showcasing it even. He takes things meant for evil and causes it to suit his purpose. He calls out the good and righteous in it, where it seemed like there was none.
Whenever things get dark and bedraggled and broken clean in half, I know even greater light – fresh and wholehearted – can take its place.
If ever I feel uncertain about his power – his spirit in me, my ability to walk the life he has for me in love and service or the darkness that seems to hover about the globe – I will remember this in prayer and heart, and I hope you do too:
“We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. Since the appearance of our Savior, nothing could be plainer: death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus.” (emphasis added) 1 Timothy 1:9-10 MSG