1: give back, return
2: to put or bring back into existence or use
3: to bring back to or put back into a former or original state : renew
1: to make like new : restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection
What a great big God we serve. That He genuinely cares for us and wants to have a relationship with us still catches me off guard at times. I know I’m not worthy of such a great love, of such devotion, or of a relationship with my Almighty God, Awesome Creator, Wonderful Counselor. Yet, that’s the beauty of grace and salvation – God restored us to Himself, by sending His own son, that we may be adopted into His family by the blood of Jesus. Thank you Lord, for bringing me back to You!
This one act of grace, the gift of Jesus, shows me the heart of God in so many ways. He loves us – without end. He wants us to be in relationship with Him. He is the author of restoration and renewal. Our God offers us His unconditional, redeeming love, and He offers it freely, without prejudice. We must confess His Son to be our Savior, accept His death on the cross as payment, and we are renewed. Jesus did the work for this one so you don’t have to. So I don’t have to.
I’ve thought many times before, and pushed the thought aside, if God is the author of restoration, and I vowed before Him to be married to Stacy until death do us part, wouldn’t it make sense that God would want that relationship restored? I’ve hidden from this thought, pushed it aside, and ignored it many times. It terrifies me. Why would God expect that of me? Didn’t He see how horribly wrong things went? Doesn’t He remember? I think He remembers more clearly than I, and I believe He offers grace to both of us, equally.
I believe that marriage is supposed to be a covenant relationship – it’s meant to only be undone by death. I have never thought divorce was a good idea, and I can’t even say I thought it was necessarily the right choice when I made it. I wasn’t looking to God for answers, I was looking to the world. Trust me when I tell you, it’s easy to find justification for divorce when you look to the world. Just about everybody has an opinion about it, and most of them think it’s an acceptable option. I suppose there are times when it is, but getting a divorce felt like sin to me. A big ugly stain of sin on my life. I’ve asked God to forgive me for it, but until recently, I wasn’t walking in that forgiveness. I was distancing myself from God because I was afraid of what He might expect me to do. I’ve known all along that God is a God of reconciliation, and for one, how do I face my fears and be reconciled with someone that hurt me so badly? And for two: how do I face the world and tell them that I’m not only going to offer grace and forgiveness, but that I am considering the commitment I made to my husband before God, and that if God’s will is to reconcile that relationship, then I won’t stand in His way.
Have you ever experienced God’s restoration in a relationship? With a spouse? Parent? Child? Friend? Tell me about it!
Romans 12:1-3 (NIV 2010) 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.