Saturday, July 8, 2017

Redeeming Time

The day started like most with the pitter patter of running feet coming full force in my direction.  Tyson's sleepy eyes barely get focused before his little feet hit the floor and he runs for me...every. single. morning (I am not mad about it).  Throughout the day I get numerous spontaneous hugs, kisses, and unsolicited "I love you"'s (not mad about any of that either).  Just tonight those brown curls bounced my way and those sparkling eyes looked up at me and he simply reached his arms around me and squeezed.  As I knelt down on my knees to get eye-level with him, Tyson came in for a big, full, all-body hug.  I batted away tears because HELLO, I waited a long time for these hugs I have been recollecting all the books, videos, and education we received during our wait.  All saying the same thing:  attachment and trust take years to develop.  Many experts even quantify the estimated time for this attachment, saying that for every year a child is in institutionalized care, it will take at least 1-2 months for trust and attachment to begin to be solidified.  I recognize that every child is different.  Every "institution" (orphanage) is different.  Every family is different.  And, for many families those timelines have been right on while others have desperately longed for attachment to come that quickly. 
Just this past week Tyson asked to sleep in Regan's bed one night (I cannot even express in human words how far we have come....).  The next morning he woke telling me about how the two of them stayed up talking like two teenage girls at a sleepover.  When I prodded about the topics of conversation it was as if it was common for a 6-year-old brother to talk to his 13-year-old sister about heaven and hell, about "Maso used to be my mom, " and about "washing my hair only on Tuesdays when I was living in Ethiopia."  I DID address the "Maso used to be my mom," by reminding him that she is his biological Momma forever and always, but I didn't want to miss the miracle in the moment.  God has done something profound with the one commodity we can't redeem.  He is

redeeming time.

As I have watched Tyson interacting in various social settings, I sometimes sit back and shake my head, knowing this is only the work of the Time Redeemer.  As I have spent more and more time in recent weeks praying about writing a book, something Holy Spirit has prompted me to do for a while, I have asked Him to reveal to me the things He wants to share.  Among several themes, I continue to have re-occurring conversations with friends about this one truth: He is fully capable of

redeeming time.

Waiting is hard.  It doesn't matter if you are waiting on employment, a spouse, having children, or direction on what is next for your future.  Waiting tends to hang a clock over each of our heads that looms large and in charge and casts a shadow over our lives that makes the days feel long, dark, and difficult to navigate. We begin to believe after a while that somehow God has lost track of the time that is passing. Even more, we convince ourselves that He has completely forgotten about this proverbial clock hanging over us.  During years 5 and 6 of our adoption wait I was almost certain God had not only forgotten about the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years passing by, I even doubted He could would do anything about it at times somethings are just really hard to admit.  As I opened my Bible this morning to pick up my study of the book of Ecclesiastes ohmylands it is so good, I came to those familiar verses found in chapter 3 reminding us that there is a season, a time, for EVERYTHING.  "Everything" is a big, all-encompassing word, one that leaves us little room to find an exception.  Believe me, I have tried.  There is a time to be born, a time to die.  A time to plant, a time to uproot.  A time to kill, a time to heal.  A time to tear down, a time to build up.  A time to weep, and a time to laugh.  A time to mourn, a time to dance a personal favorite contrast A time to scatter stones and a time to gather.  A time to embrace and a time to stop embracing.  A time to search and a time to stop searching that one hurts so good. A time to keep and a time to discard.  A time to tear and a time to mend.  A time to be silent and a time to speak.  A time to love and a time to hate.  A time for war and a time for peace. 
Clearly, time is important to Jesus.  Yet, He isn't in time.  So, it's clear He wants us to trust Him with time because EVERYTHING is purposed and ordained by the One who isn't intimidated by the clocks hanging over us or the circumstances that hung them there.  He wants us so much to trust Him with our time that Ecclesiastes 3:10-12 goes on to explain it to us like this:

"I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.  He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from beginning to end.  I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live."

Not only has God put eternity in our hearts, reminding us that He isn't in time like us, but He reminds us that He makes everything beautiful in its time. EVERYTHING.  These truths can feel contradicting when we consider our own waits, that somehow it's going to be beautiful, but it feels like the walls are closing in and its all going to come crashing down.  Then, the enemy is silenced when I remind him that our God is watching a very different clock than the one we keep staring at over our wait.  Here's the thing Jesus continues to speak into my spirit regarding our waits:  He is perfect at

redeeming time.

Unlike money, or trust, or status, once time is gone, well, it's gone.  We simply can't get it back.  Ever.  Yet, whatever we entrust to the tender hands of Jesus, He can take and redeem...even time.  It's, perhaps, the reason Ecclesiastes 3 says that eternity is placed in our hearts, because only then will we be able to see what He sees and understand what He was doing from the beginning to the end.  As I have spent time meditating on this truth, I came to the passage in Scripture where God's children were enduring devastating famine due to locusts eating their crops.  This devastation continued for 4 years while the children of God had to have been wondering what in the world God was doing.  As the people cried out to God, He responded in Joel 2:18-19 letting them know He was sending grain, wine, and oil to them so they could "be satisfied."  He went on in verses 25-26, "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten-the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm- my great army that I sent among you.  You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you.."


He repaid them for the years the locusts had taken.  I. can't. even.  As surely as I know my name, I believe we are living in a redeeming season, where God is

redeeming time

for us.  All the years we waited, believing they were gone and we would never get them back, He is redeeming them.  He is giving us multiplied joy, laughs, attachment, learning, trust, healing, and grace.  Acknowledging this in no way diminishes the pain, grief, and tears that waiting years produce.  Yet, as we fix our eyes on eternity, knowing He set it in our hearts, we can trust Him in waiting seasons.  We can trust that He sees what we are convinced we are missing out on and He can redeem it for us.  We may not get the physical hours, days, and weeks back, but He somehow  multiplies the time when its season does come. 

I want to encourage you as you wait.  During our wait I missed out on the opportunity to trust Him for redeemed time.  I am grateful He has opened my eyes to this truth now and I have asked for His forgiveness for all the days I convinced myself the clock over us was spinning out of control.  Jesus gets more glory when we entrust our days to Him and watch on with great expectation as He does what only He can do:


And when He does redeem time, we most assuredly will praise His name, as noted previously in Joel 2:26.  Mourning turns to dancing.  Weeping turns to laughing.  locust years turn to

Redeeming years.

We love you, Jesus. 


1 comment:

  1. Perfect for where my mind has been Lately!!!! Thank you for being so real!!!!