Monday, June 5, 2017

Restoration Power

Year 5 - Day 156: Today, I am grateful for God's restoration power.

I am fascinated with shows like "Fixer Upper" and "Restoration Addict". I have a homegrown respect for what is old, but things that have been left to disrepair and neglect are sometimes questionable. 

When the assessment is done, the question must be answered: "Can this building be saved, or does it make more sense to tear it down and start over?" 

I love when the answer is "It makes more sense to tear it down and start over... but we are going to save it anyway. Whatever it takes." 

As I looked at this image today, it dawned on me that each one of us is "kind of a fixer-upper". (The Disney song from Frozen is really cute.) When we finally get enough of chasing the world's "cool things" and only finding emptiness at the end of that rainbow, our Lord is waiting for us to return to him, so that he can make us whole again. 

This image caught my eye: "The world broke her, but God restored her." 

God's faithfulness to the the mission of our reclamation and restoration never waivers. How do we reject that kind of love? It really is insane... but it happens all the time. We've all have a little inner  "Ursula". 

Ursula is the "sea witch" from "The Little Mermaid". (I have no idea why Disney references are popping up this morning but let's just go with it.) Our Jr. High students did the show this year and it is a favorite of mine. A great musical score, and doesn't every girl long to be a mermaid for a day?  Still, it might be Ursula that stands out the most for me in the show. 

Her song, "Poor Unfortunate Souls" is chock full of "wants" and discontentment. Those desires bring her victims to her door... actually it is a sell out to the sea witch. Ariel is sucked into Ursula's web and barely escapes in the end. 

I know Ursula is "bad", but something in her has always resonated with me. I don't put her in the same "category" as other Disney villains. I never knew why... but leave it to a seventh grade student to explain it to me.

The young lady who earned the role of Ursula in our show did an incredible job. I was telling her of my soft spot for Ursula... despite her wicked ways... and all I could come up with was that "I just don't feel like she means to be bad." Terra didn't miss a beat when she quickly replied. "Oh, I don't think so either. She just wants what she wants." She was perfectly cast and rocked the part. "She just wants what she wants!" It was a brilliant response. 

How many times does that line describe me? How many times do my choices lead to brokenness and making a mess of things? Instead of laying my life out for my Lord to guide and direct... I want what I want. How do I fail to trust the God of the Universe? I go my own way and find myself a broken mess in need of recovery and restoration. 

How does it happen? Neglecting His Word and simply "wanting what I want". 

The world is full of temptation and time sucking things that lead to the neglect of more important things, like our souls. Eventually, we are broken down on the inside, no matter how bright and shiny our lives might look from the outside. 

Jesus paid the price for our neglect and disobedience. He restores us with his love, fills in the holes and put a new finish on us as he makes us whole again. His time with Satan in the desert has not been forgotten. He understands temptation and wants to strengthen us for each test. He forgives when we fail. 

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." -Zephaniah 3:17

Sometimes, we need him to be the hammer... other times the glue, the industrial strength cleaner and the protective varnish. He knows what each one of us "fixer-uppers" need. He reclaims, restores and renews. You've been chosen. 

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Today, I am grateful for God's restoration power.

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