What is our fascination with restoring old things? You’ve see thousands of DIY ideas on Pinterest for restoring beat up furniture. And how to restore old cars has it’s own TV show. There’s something beautiful about restoration, about returning something to its original luster. The very act of renewing a broken or old item brings satisfaction and joy—in both the process and the finished work.
Do you know that’s how God feels about restoring the world He made? Satisfaction and joy, today and in the finished work at Christ’s return. When sin entered the world, four relationships became broken:
- We lost fellowship with God because our representatives Adam and Eve sinned
- We lost our own identity and became psychologically alienated from ourselves, resulting in anxiety, confusion and mental illness
- We lost relational connection with others becoming lonely and fighting and blaming
- Physically, our bodies now become sick and die**
If you were to sum up all the problems of the world, they would fall into one or more of these named categories (theological, psychological, social, or physical).
In satisfaction and joy, the restoration is coming and will come to fruition under the perfect care of God.
God is in the process of restoring all things to Himself (Acts 3:20) and when Christ comes again, each alienation will be fully reconciled. Can you imagine? The last enemy will be death itself! (1 Corinthians 15:26).
So, today we live to participate with God in restoring all things:
- We lift up Jesus in our own hearts and before men and women that we might repent and be reconciled to God
- We find our identity as sons and daughters, no longer orphans (Galatians 3:4, 5). And we comfort and care for those in emotional distress
- We strive with the Spirit to have unity with others and we seek the peace of the land
- And finally we fight disease and care for the infirmed
In these ways, we join the Trinity in bringing God’s Kingdom—His restoration—on earth as it is in Heaven. Evangelism is restoration work. Providing wise counsel is restoration work. A helping hand, a cup of cold water, soothing a child, overlooking an offense, changing a bandage—all restoration work.
Finally, we look forward to the day of complete restoration, when the lion will lie down with the lamb, when all brokenness is healed, when the King returns for His bride.
In The Lord of Rings, Gandalf asks, “Is everything sad going to come untrue?” Yes, by God’s grace, it is! Until then, we wait with eager expectation and sing with the chorus:
“No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow, Far as the curse is found”
Joy to the world!
(**I first heard of the “four curses” from a taped sermon by Francis Schaeffer. And Tim Keller also expands on these “alienations” in his work.)
–Judy Nelson Lewis