An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

God doesn't recycle

  • Published
  • By Chap. (Capt.) Craig Forsythe
  • 451st Air Expeditionary Wing chaplain
It makes me feel good when I get to throw an empty water bottle in the recycle bin. It's an experience that happens numerous times a day here at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, and it reminds me that my trash will be reused in some miraculous way. I'm not sure exactly how recycling works, but it comforts me to think that a portion of my trash will not spend eternity in a landfill. Recycling really is a great thing as a part of our garbage is reused.

God doesn't recycle and I'm thankful for it. I'm not saying that God is wasteful, but he doesn't just use a portion of what we have to offer to him while throwing the rest away. Instead, God redeems. What's the difference? The difference is that while recycling is great, there is still a portion of the product that goes to waste. However, God doesn't allow any parts of our lives to go to waste. This is why the Bible uses the word "redeem" instead of recycle. Recycling is incomplete, but redemption is thorough. The Bible tells us: (Jesus is the one...) who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:14).

How should this truth affect our lives? As the scripture says, God redeems. When something is redeemed, it means that every part of it is made useful. This is what God wants to do with our lives. He wants to make every part of them useful. God doesn't simply use the parts of our lives that we may consider "good." Instead, when we are redeemed, he even uses the painful, destructive or even tragic parts to glorify him. Is this miraculous? By all means! But we serve a God of miracles.

And so, the next time you are tempted to wonder if the day was wasted or if what you are suffering from matters, know that God redeems. He won't simply use certain parts of your life that you think are valuable. Instead, he will miraculously use your entire life. He will use the ups and downs, the easy and difficult times ... and the good and the bad. And while God doesn't cause bad things to happen, he will use it all in his plan. Give it to God because he doesn't recycle ... He redeems!