Are you someone who enjoys restoring things; taking what is dull and broken and returning it to its original shine and luster? Maybe you have restored your old ’67 Camaro, the first year that car was manufactured, to mint condition, taking it to all the car shows, feeling proud as you watch people marvel at its beauty. How about the joy that comes after you have torn up the worn out carpet in your living room and replaced it with oak hardwood flooring. You are no longer embarrassed when guests come to your house. Or it could be that you found your childhood red wagon in your parent’s attic, with its once fire engine red paint no longer shiny. You decide to take it home and sand off the rust, prime and paint it bright red, oil the wheels, and voila, it is just like new. You proudly pull your kids in it, just as your parents once pulled you.
There is joy and satisfaction in restoring that which is broken back to its original beauty and functionality. We have a God who is interested in redeeming and restoring his children, every man, woman, and child who has ever lived. God is a repairer at heart. God does not just want to return us to our original condition (innocent like Adam and Eve before the whole forbidden fruit thing), He wants us to be better than we were when we began. In Haggai 2:9, God promises the Israelites that when they return out of captivity the glory of the new Temple would be greater than that of the old one. Here is what we read – “’The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
He (God) can make up for all that has been lost or neglected, abused or destroyed – “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust have eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, the cutter, my great army which I sent among you.” (Joel 2:25)
God is a Master Craftsman and the world is His restoration project. And hear this, God also wants to use you to help Him restore those around you; yes, each one of us is called to participate. Here is a promise to Israel in its post-exilic state, and one made to us today, found in Isaiah 58:12 – “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
So today, no matter the condition of your body, heart, and soul, you can have assurance that God can, and deeply desires to, redeem and restore you and those around you, your friends and your enemies! Not just better, better than before!
New Bern, North Carolina