There’s this culture, this way of life, with the Native people in Alaska. It involves a spear and a whale. Most people call it whaling. And though it is not what it once was, I believe there is something profound to be learned through the Inuits and their practice of using the whale. Whaling was not just about getting something to eat. Whaling provided a means by which to survive and thrive in the cold tundra.
Of course, the Inuits would eat the meat of the whale. But they actually used every single part of the whale. Nothing was wasted. The Inuits used the baleen, which is the bristle-like filter system inside the whale’s mouth, for fishing line and children’s toys. The Inuits used the whale jaw bones for sled runners, the ribs for house rafters, the back bone for stools, and the shoulder blades for shovels. The blubber was used as fuel for oil lamps. The skin was made into clothing.
There was no part of the whale that was discarded. No part of the whale was left unused. The meat and the bones. The good and the bad. The shadow and the light. It’s all used. This is how God works. God is like an Inuit.
Nothing will be wasted.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” This verse does not say all things are good. But that God will make things into something good. Even bad things. God will use the meat, the bones, the skin, and the blubber. God will use the hurt and pain, as well as the joy and blessings. God will use your good decisions and your bad ones. God doesn’t walk around the bad things. God doesn’t just forgive or forget the bad choices. God doesn’t just make use of the bad choices. God may sometimes take our very worst decision and turn it into the mechanism of our redemption, our growth, our health, our joy.
God finds the lost. God creates something out of the dust. God takes the rubble and builds something new. God washes clean the stains. There is no rock too heavy to be turned over. There is no door locked too tightly to be opened. There is no sin too disgusting to be forgiven. There is no pain too deep to be healed. There is no string too tangled to be untangled. There is no shackle, no chain, no fear, no past that God cannot work with.
No part of the things in our lives are wasted. Hidden agendas. Bad choices. Scandalous behavior. Hurtful words. These bad things become the ingredients in a recipe of redemption. There may be shame, guilt, sorrow, regret, pain, sorrow…but whatever happened there, God will use somehow. That’s how God works. It will not be wasted.
God is the Inuit. I am the whale. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live, well, it’s all for God. God takes my bones, my flesh, my blubber, my fears, my failures, my past, my pain, my regrets, my hopes, and my passions and works them all together for good.
Because He is good. And my life isn’t about me, my accomplishments, or my failures. My life is a part of God’s story of redemption.