Image happily created with Canva. Scripture courtesy Bible Gateway.
Awhile ago, I was driving and praying. The car is often a sanctuary spot for me, a time to turn off the noise around me, decompress, and check in with both myself and God. Apparently I was having one of those days. You know those days. You get out of bed off-kilter and the day just keeps turning in the wrong direction. Maybe you forgot to get milk and let your ten year old eat a cookie for breakfast. Perhaps you forgot to sign a study guide and your child lost a behavior point. Or, an unexpected medical bill might surreptitiously arrive in your mailbox and send your budget into a tailspin. You get the point…stuff happens.
So, as I was driving and praying on this particular off-kilter day, I said to God, “You know, I just need you to give me a redo.” Honestly, I don’t think that’s too much to ask of the God who stopped time for a full day so the Israelites could defeat the Amorites in the book of Joshua. If the Earth could stop on its axis for a day of battle, surely I could get a do-over.
Alas, it was not to be. As I pondered the idea of a redo with God, this thought came to me. God doesn’t do redos. God does restoration.
Think about that for a minute. If you’ve ever watched one of the bazillion house flipper shows on HGTV, you understand the difference between a redo and restoration. A redo involves demolishing everything and building from scratch. You get rid of the existing structure, tear out the old foundation, and build a completely new structure out of new materials. In restoration, however, the goal is to bring the structure back to its original glory. This involves some demolition. If the plumbing is rusted, it needs to be replaced. Systems need to be modernized so they can be functional. However, the basic bones of the original structure are still there. And, when possible, original materials are repurposed into something useful once more.
A restoration takes a lot more time and effort than a redo because he goal is to bring something that has faded back to its original pristine condition. A painting that has lost its luster is restored to brightness. A crackly, old recording is made crystalline once again.
God doesn’t give us a redo because he loves us as we are. God knows our mistakes. He knows our faults and our weaknesses. He knows the things we’ve experienced, and he wants to use them in his restorative process. God’s not going to obliterate our bad days, he’s going to use them for a greater purpose. If, of course, we let him. We must be active participants in God’s restorative process. We have to put on our work gloves, strap our tool belts to our waist, and dive into the depths of our being with God.
It’s a painstakingly tedious endeavor. We don’t become the person God has designed us to be overnight. There’s some demolition involved, some pipes and wiring to replace. There’s also the refurbishing that has to be done, as we clean up the messes within our hearts so that God’s love can shine through us. But, in the end, if we give God time and space, we will experience the beauty of God’s restoration in our lives.
Blessings and Peace,