Restoration is written on the heart of every human born into a world that groans for renewal. Since the beginning, our souls have longed for what once was ours. Shalom. The peace of presence. A walk with the Author of Existence. A return to Eden. It’s the Kingdom, and it’s our ultimate desire.
But “the Kingdom” is cosmic. It’s existential and transcendent. What about in the here and now? How are we “restored” in the everyday pace of our lives, as we run this race marked out for us? How do we replace chaos with harmony? A dinner without any tension from things previously said. A long overdue apology for wrongdoing. Healing that which was broken. Finding that which was lost. Recovering the image and character of our Creator in our day to day. It’s sacred and it’s necessary and it’s lifegiving. But how do we do it? The Bible teaches us three ways we can be refreshed and restored in daily life.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105).
I love the language of “path” that David uses throughout the Psalms. Over the summer, I took my family to the mountains of North Carolina. One day, my 7-year-old son, Lincoln, and I were hiking up a well-worn trail. It was fairly treacherous, but compared to being off the path, it was a cake walk. Just off the trail were thorny vines and so much undergrowth that it seemed impassable. This is how I envision the path of righteousness that Christ has blazed for us. It’s not without its challenges. There are still slippery places that require our extra attention. Jagged roots still threaten our footing. We still need to work for restoration, but Christ is our righteousness. He has given us a path to restoration that is His righteousness.
Theologians call this “sanctification.” We walk with Christ becoming more like Him as we follow the path He has for us. Our companion and guidebook, as we walk the path, is the Word of God, which David calls a “light to our path” (Psalm 119:105). As we traverse the darkest nights in this broken world, the Word of God is our guide on this path. Stay in His word daily and be refreshed and restored by the gentle voice of a Shepherd who cares for you.
“Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).
One of the ways to experience the restoring power of Christ’s righteousness is by expressing it to the world. We tend to think far less of ourselves and our troubles when we focus on others’ needs and prioritize them above our own. Find a service project – Grace Does Good is a great place to start. Take someone out for coffee and listen. Give to a charity. UberEats dinner to a family from work. Offer a single parent help with the kids when it’s not convenient for you. When we follow Christ’s example of serving and laying ourselves down for the good of others, we begin to see that not only is Christ restoring us, He is using us to restore others. You might be the refreshing encouragement that someone else needs to feel the restoring power of Jesus. Be the work of renewal in the world.
“My mouth is filled with Your praise, declaring Your splendor all day long” (Psalm 71:8).
We were created to worship. Not speaking specifically of the time we all come together on the weekend to sing and clap and raise our hands, but more generally about the pouring out of our lives as a sacrifice to our heavenly Father. As a “worship guy” for most of my adult life, I absolutely treasure our times of worship at Grace. They are holy, refreshing, and a beautiful testament to the saving grace of God. Seeing stories from every generation and a myriad of different experiences come together to respond to the mercy of our God is a restoring thing…but it’s just the beginning. As the people of God, our worship works itself out in the “liturgy of the ordinary,” as Tish Warren calls it. We worship as we live, and we live as we worship. We lift prayers of thanks and songs of joy. We carry burdens of friends and cry out in sorrow. Our existence is one of worship. Always responding to a glorious grace that not only saves us to eternal restoration, but sustains our daily renewal.
Child of the King, He is our Good Shepherd. When you wander, He is restoring You. Lean into His power. Delight in His perfect presence. The night may be dark, but the dawn brings joy and renewal.
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