Alright sister, let’s chat. I think we can all agree that oftentimes there is a level of happiness when purchasing a new item or receiving a gift. Let’s pretend that you have had your eyes on the perfect pair of distressed jeans. You have been eyeing up every shop and online store just so you can find the perfect pair of denim to sport all year long. You want them to fit perfectly and look perfect. Then, after some time searching, you’ve found them! LIKE C’MON. This is probably one of the best feelings (especially if you are a tall gal out there like me).
But if I am being completely real with you, there is only ONE THING that is better than finally getting your hands on a new pair of jeans that SING when you put them on. So, what is better than the perfect pair of jeans you may ask? Well, it is finding the perfect pair of distressed jeans that fit you flawlessly, but from the thrift store. I am talking about a USED pair of jeans that you bought for 99 cents.
There is something so exciting about buying used clothes. Used clothes tell stories. It is like every rip and small hole or distressing detail of the garment tells a story of the past. Thrifted items are used and worn, but they are given new life once they are given up by the original owner. What was once an old, unwanted pair of denim to the owner is now a new, riveting purchase by someone new with a fresh set of eyes and an ecstatic perspective.
This imagery has been spinning through my head for the past few months. It reminds me of the Lord’s redemptive power. Alright friend, let’s talk about redemption.
The definition of redemption is as follows: the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.
Like an unwanted pair of denim, our lives commonly reflect the imperfections of used clothing. We are worn down, dirty, and distressed. We have seen brighter days; and frankly, we are falling apart. The Lord’s redemption is on full display when He takes the pieces of us that are worn down, dirty, and distressed and He turns them into something good. He turns our failures into testimonies.
The difference between our thrifting experiences on this earth and the Lord’s work is that the work that He did cost FAR MORE than 99 cents. His redemption cost innocence. It cost a human life. It cost perfection in the form of a human. It cost humiliation and death.
There is this verse that has been on my heart for literally MONTHS. It comes to form the book of Revelation. It says: “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” Revelation 21:5 NIV
There is something so beautiful and encouraging to me about these words in Revelation. It reminds me that the Lord’s heart is to redeem. To redeem what is broken, lost, burdened, heavy, and wicked. He has been doing this style of work since day one.
Let’s go back to Adam and Eve. Yes, we may think that it would have been pretty incredible if Adam and Eve never sinned. But if it wasn’t for human’s fall, then we would not see the Lord’s redemptive power on full display. Although God knew we were going to sin because He is all-knowing of what we have done and will do, He never intended for us to sin but CHOSE to redeem every part of our fall. He is so powerful that He could ensure we would never fall away, but he allows us to so that He can do a greater work within us. So that He is glorified through His power of making something old and turning it into something new.
It is so clear that God LOVES new things and He is the ultimate professional of new things. If God were a businessman, he would be in the business of renewal and redemption. He created the whole universe from scratch and He loves to redeem all things that are broken. It is so incredible to know that we are created by this God: the God that desires to redeem and renew.
In my past, I have felt defeated by my imperfections. I have felt shame from my past and even too far gone to be used by God. I did not understand the Lord’s desire to redeem and heal all the parts of me that were bruised and broken. Today, I understand the Lord’s heart for me and His desire to redeem my steps. My life changed when I truly started to grasp and understand the redemptive heart of God and I believe there is a freedom we miss out on earth by not living in this truth over our lives.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul spoke about the transformation that is available on this side of eternity when recognizing this redemptive truth. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day…Therefore if anyone in Christ is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 4:16, 5:17)
Because of redemption, there is freedom.
The fact that I am not enslaved to my shame, hurt, or pain anymore is my freedom.
Knowing that the Lord is redeeming me today and He is going to complete the work that He started is my freedom.
The redemptive power is my freedom. GOD’S REDEMPTION IS MY FREEDOM CRY and excuse me as I shout these words from the tippy-top of the tallest rooftop, BUT I HAVE FREEDOM BECAUSE OF REDEMPTION… and sister, so do you.
So go and be encouraged by the redemptive power of our God and rest knowing that you’re made in the image of a God who says, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5
Olivia is a creative, an entrepreneur, and a recent college graduate from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Olivia has combined her multi-passions of fashion with her desire to share the gospel by creating a clothing brand with the goal of starting gospel conversations and encouraging individuals to live intentionally in their twenties. You can follow her store on Instagram @shop.twenties or you can become virtual friends with Olivia by connecting with her on her Instagram @oliviasteingraber