A Reflection of God’s Glory | May 6th, 2017
Turn and face the strange
Those were a few lines of the chorus lyrics of our theme song for my jr. high graduation ceremony. Many changes were already behind me but oh, so many more lie ahead on what seemed a very long journey to adulthood.
Change is inevitable in life. We change our likes and dislikes. We change our social circles. We change where we live and what we do for a living (often, many times over). We change our plans. And we may even change our beliefs.
The changes we go through allow us to become repurposed which means to alter or to make more suitable for a different purpose.
My Repurposing Experience
I have been a personal fitness trainer since graduating from college with a Corporate Wellness degree. After many years of experience, I was asked to teach arthritis aquatics – a slow-moving, warm water class for people who needed gentle exercise for their painful joints. This led to me getting certified as an Arthritis Exercise Instructor. I became repurposed with new skills.
Today, I use the skills I learned to instruct multiple classes each week for people with arthritis, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. It is so rewarding for me and gives me great joy to know I am helping them move easier and feel better.
If you look a little closer at the photo, you can see my sweet Pomeranian, Emma, who also was repurposed in her own special way from being a breeder dog in a rundown puppy mill to a fur baby who loves visiting the class participants, bringing lots of joy and big smiles to all of their faces!
Repurposed for God’s Glory
Each time we are repurposed for something new, we are given an opportunity to reflect God’s glory so His beauty can shine through us. I really enjoy watching people do what they are super passionate about. Like the woman who plays the violin at my church like no one I have ever heard, often bringing me to tears with the melodious beauty of her music.
Or the artistic, always colorfully dressed man I have gotten to know at a consignment shop who can’t wait for me to bring him my unwanted clothing and jewelry so he can get to work on creative window displays with new, fashionable pieces.
When you light up doing what you love, that is a reflection of God’s glory – His beauty and greatness. Your beauty shines through from the inside out. God often uses our experiences to repurpose us for that very reason – to reflect His glory. God’s glory is evident in ALL He has created so His greatness, power, majesty, and beauty may be revealed.
Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Psalm 19:1
Changes in Life Lead to Being Repurposed
There are a variety of ways that changes are instrumental in allowing you to be repurposed. One way is through changes in your circumstances such as losing your job and gaining a new one in a completely different line of work, repurposing you with a whole new set of skills.
Another way is through changes in your experiences. If you begin volunteering at a homeless shelter, you may now be repurposed to have a heart for the homeless that you never had before.
Changes in your life can also take place through the way of tragedies such as losing a loved one. Perhaps you are now repurposed as one who understands grief to the fullest extent and can comfort others who have gone through the same kind of loss.
Although it may not seem possible, God’s glory can shine through you whether your repurposing comes from something positive that has occurred in your life or even something negative.
The Importance of God’s Glory
Why is it so important to God to have His glory be reflected? God wants us to know Him so we can have a personal relationship with Him. His glory is manifested in all of His attributes – His love, wisdom, faithfulness, goodness, and holiness, just to name a few. For example, when we experience goodness through someone helping us, God’s glory is being revealed to us through the attribute of His goodness. We taste God’s goodness when we experience it through others.
God also wants to make sure no one has an excuse for rejecting Him. He makes His glory evident in EVERYTHING He has created, so we are without excuse for knowing He exists. All we have to do is open our eyes. His glory is everywhere in nature! And it is seen differently to different people. I see His glory at the beach with the powerful ocean waves while others may see it at the top of a majestic mountain after their climb. Either way, His glory connects us to Him in a way that we cannot deny He is God.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20
Vintage Jewelry and Designer are Both Repurposed
I am always on the lookout for beautiful vintage costume jewelry to repurpose into something new. My favorite color is orange, so when I found the perfect pair of 1950s clip earrings in bright orange, I snapped them up. Flipping them over, I noticed a stamp on the back with the name Carnegie.
Not knowing who this was, I decided to do a bit of research to find out. Through my investigation, I discovered that Carnegie’s story was filled with major changes she had gone through in life, repurposing her many times over.
Her name changed from Henrietta Kanengeiser to Hattie Carnegie. Her residence changed from Vienna, Austria to New York. Her vocation changed from selling hats (hence, the nickname “Hattie”) to owning a hat and dress shop. Years later, she was repurposed as a jewelry designer, creating a line of costume jewelry to complement her clothing which she sold in her very own enormous department store, employing 1000 workers!
How special to find a pair of her clip earrings from the era most valued by collectors today – the era when they were created under her direction! I made a few changes on the back of one of the pieces so it could be repurposed as a beautiful ring:
What a great reminder for me when I wear it that the changes I go through in life lead to being repurposed so I can reflect God’s glory in new ways.
A Look at Your Life
How has God been at work repurposing you throughout your life? What changes have you gone through that have allowed you to help or encourage others in their lives because of your circumstances, experiences, or tragedies?
With each change in life, look to see how God might want to use it to reflect His glory through you. He does not let any changes go to waste, whether the changes seem positive or negative. And when His beauty and greatness radiates through you, it will be very noticeable, giving you the perfect opportunity to share the incredible joy with others that God gives you so they may come to know Him and experience His joy for themselves.
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. Acts 2:28
Change is inevitable. But knowing that God’s glory can be reflected as He repurposes you through all of those changes, you can now embrace them as a beautiful part of life.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
Ask God to reveal to you the ways He wants to repurpose you through the changes you are going through right now so you can reflect His glory in any circumstance, experience, or tragedy.
Sparkler #2: Action
Once God has revealed how He wants to repurpose you through the changes in your life, be obedient to Him and act on the opportunities He puts in your path. You will experience so much joy as a result!
Sparkler #3: Challenge
When others notice your joy, boldly tell them the reason behind it by sharing your faith and the way God has personally connected with you.
*Colorful fashion – photo credit: Echo Boutique, Dallas, Texas
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