Thursday, April 14, 2016


Restoration – it is a word that has been bouncing around in my head and heart for a while now.  So many people are into restoration in our culture.  Restoring old furniture.  Restoring old homes, old cars.  Restoring entire sections of cities that have become dilapidated.  Many look at things and see ways to restore them.  They find ways to bring them back to their former glory and sometimes even to improve on them.

I love to watch stories on TV about this.  I love to watch shows that take a building from being a run-down, lonely place to a beautiful, fully restored, family home.  Or those that unearth what is seemingly junk and remake it into beautiful, functioning, useful pieces.  They even have a term for this now – repurposing.

I love seeing the vision people have for things that are hidden, and the process they go through in revealing that vision.  They have a gift to see the beauty in something while it is still in an un-restored state.

There is so much in this world that needs restoration, having the vision to see possibilities that inanimate objects hold.  It takes vision, it takes work, but we can usually see the feasibility of restoring things, even if we need a bit of guidance from an expert.

When it comes to people, the world doesn’t usually see the same possibilities.  How many times are people overlooked because they have become run down, gone through tragedy, hit by disease, passed a certain age?  They are seen as broken, finished, and unsalvageable.

If you have a relationship with God, this is where we should be different.  This is where we need to stop looking at things from our limited perspective, looking at things in light of our own abilities, and ask to see what God has in store.  He is the great restorer of all things, and His possibilities are endless.

Restoration is one reason that I love the book of Ruth.  Almost immediately in this book we find Ruth destitute.  She is in a foreign country, her husband and sons have died.  She is a widow, who has been left with two widowed daughters-in-law.  Ruth sees no future in her current situation and decides to return to her own nation of Israel.  She encourages her two daughters-in-law to return to their own families where they can have a future.  Naomi refuses and not only stands by Ruth, but stands with the God of Israel who Ruth and her family serve.

Both women return to Israel and are basically homeless and destitute.  They are gathering left-overs from the grain harvesters for food.  Naomi is gathering from the field of Boaz, who is a distant relative, and he shows her favor.  As the story plays out, we see that Boaz is to be Naomi (and Ruth’s) redeemer.  He will redeem their rights to land and become Naomi’s husband, giving both Ruth and Naomi descendants.
“Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age…” -Ruth 4:14-15
Boaz is sensitive to God’s nature.  He sees Naomi through God’s eyes, not as a women who is homeless and destitute, but someone with a hope and a future.  He sees what God’s possibility for her is- a wife, mother to his children.  Ultimately Boaz and Naomi are part of the lineage of the Redeemer of all mankind.

Boaz had much in terms of earthly wealth, but he took time to look and listen to what and who was around him.  He realized the richness that can be found in a person, not just in things.  He took time to trust God in the path that was laid before him, and in walking that path found a rich blessing.

Allowing God to use us to bring restoration in people’s lives takes bravery.  It takes trust.  It forces us to step out toward a goal we can’t really see, walking a path without a map. It’s working on a canvas that cannot be seen on the surface.

Bringing restoration in people’s lives, in their hearts, forces us to walk in true love.

Every person is different.  Each one will have a different path that leads to restoration.  The beauty that will be revealed will always be different.  What is the same is our ability to make room for the restoration process in our lives.  In allowing ourselves to be restored, we are able to help others along their path.

The great thing about this type of restoration, the restoration of people’s lives, is that you don’t have to obtain special skills.  You just have to be available.  Because this kind of restoration is about walking in love.  This kind is about connecting the one that needs to be restored to the One who is the restorer of all things.
I love this quote by Ann Voskamp, “Don’t ever love by halves, because that’s not how anyone becomes whole.”
God gave all of Himself so that we could be whole.  He never loves in halves, and neither should we.

Restoration of lives is real. God is a restorer of hope, a restorer of vision, a restorer of relationships, a restorer of life where we thought there was only death. Today let’s look at lives with a vision for restoration.

No comments: