Thursday, May 15, 2008

God of the Second-hand

I have recently been looking into how to sell some stuff of mine that I don't need anymore. This isn't really something I've done before, as I think I've really absorbed the 'throw it away, buy a new one' ethic of our society, which is just materialism gone nuts, and is most certainly a product of the advertising industry. After all, it is more profitable for the various companies if you buy things new, than if you buy second hand.

I've decided this is really rather sad, because the items that I am wanting to sell are not without value. There is an iMate which has hardly been used, and some jewellery, which to replace would cost $1800. However, when I got a quote from a jeweller they advised me that they only pay 10% of market value.

Anyways, this has all lead me to think about how God is really the God of the second-hand. As Christians we come to Him second-hand. The world's owned us for a while, banged us up good and proper, we're worse for wear, and in severe need of a clean up. And yet God looks at us, and instead of saying, "meh, I think I'll just toss it and buy a new one" He has paid the ultimate price for us, through Christ. Not only has He made that investment in us, He is not content to just own us in the state that we come to Him, but He fixes us up and makes us all pretty (by which of course I mean He conforms us to Christ's image).

Another example of getting outside this throw away culture in my life, was that I recently had some repairs done on a blue topaz ring I own. I bought it after reading Liza Bevere's book "Fight Like a Girl". In there she uses blue topaz as an illustration for the refining process that we go through in adversity. Apparently when topaz is dug up out of the ground it is a murky brown colour, its only when it is thrown in the fire that it turns blue and pretty. When I read that it was about a month before my divorce went through and I really really needed to know that God was using that situation in my life to bring about something good. I think I would have died of the pain otherwise. I've worn it ever since as a reminder and a testimony of God's faithfulness.

About six weeks ago one of the claws on it broke off. Now in the past that probably would have been the end of it. It would have gone in the drawer, never to be seen again. But this time, because someone I knew had previously recommended a jeweller who was good at repairs and alterations I thought why not have a crack at this restoration bizo.

I got the ring back yesterday. The repair was about $12. And as well as fixing the broken claw, the jeweller had polished the ring up so much that it looks better than when I first bought it. Life has been / is quite tough at the moment. Lots of good things happening, but unemployment is causing a certain level of stress. Given that historically this ring has symbolised for me God refining me, having it broken and then fixed, and coming out looking better than it started, I found a reassuring reminder of God's faithfulness.

This has been a bit rambling. I guess I really have two points. We have a throw away culture, we even throw away people. God isn't like that. He buys second-hand, and then He is in the continual business of restoration. Not just once, but He maintains His investment and continues to restore us as we get a little bit broken again.

God bless,

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