Lost. There’s the innocent way that you can’t find your car keys when you’re in a hurry. Lost. The number 5 seed college football misses a field goal attempt that would have eliminated the number one team no one thought they’d beat. Lost. Like, your paper covers my rock so I’m picking up the dinner tab.
This isn’t that kind of lost. This lost is more like the workaholic father who traded promotions for relationships with his children. It’s the kind of lost that a husband feels when he’s just received the divorce papers in the mail. It’s the kind of lost that the college honors student feels who has been caught cheating, and told the scholarship money is finished. This is lost like the bride whose supposed to be husband has left her standing at the altar and holding a heart filled with unfulfilled wishes and unanswered questions.
What we have lost in our lives isn’t measured in inches it’s measured in miles. We don’t just lose our car keys, or a football game. We lose our deepest relationships, our hope, our direction in life, and our joy. We scratch our heads wondering where a relationship got away from us, when we’ve ignored our responsibilities to the person for years. We grieve at the loss of a family member who died before we ever reconciled a broken relationship. We’ve all felt the sting of loss in our lives, and at times have ourselves felt lost. Even in our pursuit of happiness we often end up empty. And for many who have labored long to attain a goal, they have found at the end of their victory they felt, not satisfaction, but loss.
The most regrettable aspect of our experience with loss is that so much of it is by our own hands. We don’t just misplace important things, we throw them away. If a bank account funded all the activity of our lives, then we are bad check writers. We’ve overdrawn our accounts and we don’t have money fix the problem. We’re like gamblers who have taken out a line of credit and rolled the dice again and lost.
Our losses are not merely personal. What we’ve lost is bigger than we realize. We have lost something that we may never have imagined we even had to begin with. In all of our lives, we’ve lost our connection with God. We’ve lost the grand image of God we were designed to bear. We’ve lost the mission from God that we were designed to fulfill.
In the opening chapter of the Bible are these incredible words that paint a picture of the kind of life we were created for:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them,
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. (Genesis 1:26-28)
This beautiful and poetic opening of the scriptures paints a vivid portrait of the life we all were designed to live. And yet only a few pages later in the same opening book of the Bible we read a story about how humanity lost it. We lost it, not because we misplaced it, but because we threw it away.
We have lost more than we ever thought we had to loose, but our loss isn’t the end of the story. In fact, woven throughout the Bible is God’s response to our lost humanity.
What was lost can be found.
God, you see, is a God of redemption. What we’ve given away, he made a way to get back. It isn’t simple. It wasn’t cheap. But it is something available to everyone.
Over the course of several blog entries I want to explore some of the themes of redemption that are revealed in the Bible. I’ll look at some of what we’ve lost, that God can redeem. Here’s a few examples of what we’ve lost that I’m planning to explore:
- We have lost innocence.
- Our humanity
- Male-female unity