I am doing a book study with a friend. One of the subjects we are discussing is God’s Promise to restore what we have lost.
When we think of something being restored, we often think of things or people we lost. We think of them being returned to us, just as we last saw them.
If that were true, they would be replaced, but not necessarily restored.
What does it mean to be restored?
What if you had a fine piece of furniture, perhaps a chest of drawers originally built by a fine furniture maker and passed on to you?
It might be very valuable to you, but over time, it has become marred with chips and scratches. It’s still beautiful in a way, but you realize it is not as beautiful as it once might have been.
You search old pictures hoping to see a similar piece, so you can see how it originally looked.
One day, just below one of the deeper scratches, you notice a different color to the finish. You are intrigued. You become a little daring and scrape away a little of the finish.
But it frightens you. You suddenly fear that if you continue, you might destroy it. So you stop. But the idea never leaves you that there is something deeper than what you see.
One day you are visited by an elderly relative, who comments on the furniture piece. She tells you it looks so different from when it was built.
You are surprised and beg to know more. She then tells you of how the furniture maker carefully carried out his craft. You discover that your furniture piece was once even a different color.
She ends by suggesting you get it refinished. She assures you it can be restored.
She tells you of a furniture maker who can do the work. She assures you it will look just like the original furniture maker built it to look.
You excitedly agree. The day comes when the furniture maker arrives. The first thing he does is begin to sand away the finish. You are initially alarmed, but you allow him to continue.
Bit by bit, you begin to see your chest transformed into something unlike what you have seen before.
But still, it looks rough and unfinished. When you express concern, he says simply, “Patience. I’m not finished yet.”
You watch in wonder as the old is removed and he carefully applies a new finish. Soon you have a new chest, that resembles the old one in some ways, but is completely different in other ways.
Your chest has not been replaced. It has been restored.
What about people? Can they be restored? Can you be restored?
Is it possible that the people we see as flawed or even outright evil are not so at all? Is it possible they are simply painted over, chipped, scratched, such that they no longer look on the outside as God created them to be?
Is it possible that when they look in the mirror, they do not see the person God created them to be? They only see the person they appear to have become. And when others agree, they believe that is who they are.
Is it possible that you have never seen the re-finished, restored version of yourself?
When God restores, He does not give people or things back to us, as we believe them to be. He brings them back to His Original Design.
Picture a world where everyone is restored to God’s Original Design for them. Animals, Plants, everything in perfect order. No more knowledge of evil. Only knowledge of Good.
No more violence. No more crying. No more pain. No more doubts or fears. No more death.
Everyone is the shining masterpiece God intended from the beginning of the world. All use the talents God has given them to live together in Love, Joy and Peace.
That is the restoration God had in mind. The process begins now with our being willing to let Him work on us and all the rest of His Creation.
We will need to be patient as He removes everything He never put there.
We will need to maintain faith during the exposed, rough part of the process, knowing that The Creator is not done. He will be preparing us to receive The Glory with which He will cover us.
Faith will be important. We must believe that the finished product of what The Creator intends will be much better than what we thought was the best possible.
What will such a world look like? We don’t know yet. But we can be absolutely certain that it will be very good and all will be full of The Glory of The Lord.
Some people would call that Heaven. Some would say it will come one day in a far off place.
But Jesus saw it as beginning now. He prayed to God, “Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Are you ready to take your place in The Kingdom? Are you ready to be restored to The Perfection God intended for you before He even created you?
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
If you are ready to be a part of His Kingdom, can you also believe that all … everyone and everything … He has created can be restored to be a beautiful part of His Kingdom?
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.
“But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
1 John 3:2