Tuesday, 8 December 2015

What My Fridge Taught Me About Redemption

O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities. Ps 130:7-8


I've been thinking a lot about redemption these last few days. 

What is redemption? 

According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, to redeem is:

to buy back; repurchase; to get or win back; to free from what distresses or harms; to free from captivity by payment of ransom; to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental; to release from blame or debt; to free from the consequences of sin.

Ephesians 1:7,8  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us


We were redeemed by God, at great cost, bought with the precious blood of Christ.  

1Pet 1:18,19  ..... you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Jesus paid the price, and it didn't come cheap.   He redeemed us, bought us back, brought us back, to the Father, to free us from our iniquities, from the damage done by sin to be in relationship with Him. 

Think on that for a minute. 

How does God redeem us?   

I've been wondering about the how.   I've come to the conclusion that it's a process.  

Having paid the price, God wants to restore us to our intended glory.  

But how?   Are we just saved and that's it?   I think not.  

Ps 130:7 says, 'With the Lord is lovingkindness and abundant redemption.'  How can redemption be abundant?   It must be more than just a buying back, a one-off thing.  It must be a process. 

A process of being cleaned up, restored, scrubbed, polished, waxed, scraped, changed, refined, emptied of iniquity and filled to overflowing with good things, to restore to us not only our glory, but also to our purpose in this life.  

I spent quite a bit of time meditating on redemption today, while doing something rather mundane and tiresome, and it made me realise that the process of redemption can be the same - mundane, tiresome, difficult, long. 

I spent considerable time today redeeming my fridge!

I took ownership of the mess within (the smell finally got to me) and decided it was time to restore it to a place of smelling and looking better and being more useful to us, not stuffed full of things we no longer recognised and that were no longer fit for human consumption (the dogs did well, though).   

I really do not enjoy cleaning up my fridge.   When our oldest daughter, Liz, lived here, it was a task I often delegated to her.  She was good at it.  I am not.   Fermenting kidney beans and rotting vegetable matter are not pleasant and are not up there on my priority list of fun and interesting things to do.  

I have been putting it off for quite a while, partly because I was just busy with other things.

But also because it's hard work, and smelly and stomach-turning, and takes longer than just a few minutes. 

And it makes my kitchen really messy!

This is my kitchen after my redemptive work, and before the big, post-redemptive wash-up. 


My almost three year old came in, hands on hips, and said, 'What did you do?!   You made a big mess!'   She didn't see the clean-ness of my fridge, the work going on, how much better it is, just the mess.   She is a mess-spotter. 

It got me wondering about the redemptive work God wants to do in our lives.   Are we afraid of the mess that God might make if we give Him permission to redeem our messes?

Are we afraid of what we might smell like if our rottenness is exposed, or perhaps we're afraid of the scrubbing, of the dysfunction becoming obvious if we allow God to really expose our mess in the process of redemption?   Can we allow ourselves to be messy for a while, while God does His perfect work?

Do we allow our fellow Christians the freedom to be messy and less-than-perfect, privately and in church, while God does His redemptive work?

Are we burying our messes in a closed fridge, to keep our kitchens spotless?  Until it becomes too obvious and everyone starts to notice.   

Fridges slow down the rotting process, and they're a great place to hide a mess!  Takes a while for it to be noticed.   They look great, especially if you never get beyond the front row on any particular shelf.    I often wonder if church is a bit like that.   A place where everyone is busy hiding their messes behind our happy, polite, well-behaved facades?  

But what's really in there?   God knows - before the smell even starts to emanate to others, God knows. 

I wonder if He feels like throwing up when He smells some of the rotting stuff in us?

Rev 3:16,17 says He does. 

Do we let ourselves become so full of stuff and waste that we can't be useful for our original purpose?

Can we get really honest and let God do His redemptive work in us? 

Can we give ourselves grace and mercy to be less than perfect and together, so He can expose the junk?    

Can we allow Him to expose our messiness so He can do the work properly? 

Can we let others see and smell our rottenness, and help us in our journey?   


O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities. Ps 130:7-8
Linking up at  Titus 2 Tuesdays


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