Restoration. When I think of that word I imagine something completely gone through and made perfect again. Like an old house restored to its original glory with no more rotted wood, flaking paint or half hung doors. In my mind it’s a process that has an end, something that gets finished. I think of completion.
Naturally then, when I started the year thinking it would be a year of restoration and renewal, I assumed that God was going to fix all that was wrong, set me right again and then send me on my way. I should know by now that my flawed human thinking rarely lines up with God’s way. Such is our frail humanity. When we try to apply human knowledge to spiritual things, it has a tendency to blow up if our faces, doesn’t it?
Rebekah Lyons came out with a new book in the fall called Rhythms of Renewal (affiliate) and Faith Gateway is running the Bible study right now. So I have been diving into the topics of rest and restore over the past few weeks and God showed me that my earthly understanding of restoration didn’t match up with the biblical concept.
God showed me that restoration is an ongoing process in the life of the Christian. It really has its roots in abiding. When we are abiding in the Lord, walking with him, and cultivating the relationship daily, we are restored on a daily basis. Restoration is an ongoing continual process. That is why when we stray and find ourselves distant from the Lord we also find ourselves are weary and run down, in need of restoration.
It isn’t a one time healing that enables us to resume life as it was. Restoration is a process that completely changes how we live our lives. We no longer are as we were but are a new creation in Christ. The old has gone and the new has come. In 2 Corinthians we read that we are being renewed day by day despite our physical bodies. David, in the Psalms, speaks of meeting with God early in the morning and Lamentations tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning.
What a beautiful perspective. Our restoration is God’s mercy extended and restoration is offered each and every day for those that abide in Christ. As we have found before, abiding and Christ means praying and spending time reading the Bible. Rebekah connects it all together to beautifully:
Prayer grants me access to the Holy Spirit’s comfort, a balm that transcends time and space, reputation and race. Through these moments, Jesus repairs, restores, redeems, and resurrects.
-Rebekah Lyons, Rhythms of Renewal.
And so it comes full circle, showing us the benefit and result of abiding in the Lord. Restoration and renewal are direct benefits of abiding in the Lord. What a beautiful and precious discovery. No matter our circumstances, how hard our life is/has been, we don’t have to live a life of despair or depletion. We can live a restored, renewed life by abiding in the Lord.
That adds a little spring in my step. How about you?!