It’s quite miraculous when someone takes something that is old and trash-worthy and diligently brings it back to life. Our dear friend, Bob, finds great delight in doing this with his prized 1940 red Ford Deluxe Sedan. He’s spent countless hours working on it, meticulously cleaning and polishing it and doing everything in his power to make it look and act like new. He loves his “baby” and proudly displays it in car shows around the state and uses it to chauffeur friends to special occasions. Because of this great effort, his little red car is as sparkling and reliable as when it was brand new. That’s because it has been restored, which literally means “to bring back to an original or normal condition.”
I’ve heard it said that God is in the restoration business. This means that, because of what Christ did on the cross , the Holy One can restore us by cleansing and making us new (1 John 1:9). As a result, everything that has been lost in our lives, even if we’ve experienced trauma of any kind, can be found.
So how can this be? To restore an old car is one thing, but the restoration of one’s innocence seems utterly impossible.
The evil one uses painful experiences in our lives to steal, kill and destroy all that God desires for us. As a result, oftentimes we tiptoe around in the shameful rags of our past mistakes and assaults, acting as though we are ready for the garbage. Living this way makes us feel dirty and unworthy, but it’s what we’ve become accustom to. It’s what we feel we deserve. Rather than allowing the Holy One to cleanse and restore us, we choose to remain in a shameful, broken condition. This ultimately brings great delight to our enemy while breaking the heart of our heavenly Father.
Another definition for the word restore is “to return (something lost, stolen, etc.) to its owner.” The Holy One bids us come to Him and find cleansing and restoration for all things…yes, even our innocence. This happens when we come into His presence and lay our burdens down at His feet. In this holy place, where heaven and earth come together, we are washed in His fountain of love. And every single thing that the evil one took from us is returned.
Whether it’s our hearts, relationships or innocence that’s been lost, God’s desire is always for healing and restoration. No matter how broken or bruised we are, when we lay our dirty garments before Him, He joyously exchanges them with radiant bridal attire shining brightly with His glory. In the presence of the Great Restorer, all that was stolen is miraculously returned to us…and we are made new.
Psalm 37:6 says “He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.”