Psalm 23 is heralded in the Christian community as a chapter of rest, refuge, and rejuvenation. We use it to calm our fears when life seems uncertain and situations seem to get the better of us. Verse 3 soothes our weary spirits and tells us that our Lord will restore our souls. Let’s pause here. What does it mean to be restored?
What do we restore? An old chair, an antique car, a blighted building? Time and circumstances have beaten the life out of these objects. The color has faded, the pieces and parts resist progress. In their current state, they have no value in our lives. They must be restored if there is any hope for them.
Just like the broken chair, rusted car, and abandoned building, we can not be used effectively by God without first being restored. We have to endure the process. In order for God to return us to a former state or original condition, there is an intense cleaning that must take place to remove the residue of past hurt and abuse we’ve suffered. We must be sanded and shaped to prevent further damaged caused from the consequences of our poor decisions. Our vessels have to be prepared to handle the new circumstances God has prepared for us.
Many of us would prefer a “quick fix”: a coat of paint here, some duct tape there. We prefer just enough “fixing” to hold us together. But, what happens if you put new paint on an old, dirty, and cracked surface? The results are temporary. This is what happens when we desire God’s blessings prematurely, before we have been restored. We are asking Him to cover the old, not make us new.
Restoration is a process. An uncomfortable, painful, yet necessary process. A lifetime of living in a fallen world has created a broken facade. If left in this worn-down condition, we would be useless in the Kingdom of God. But, He is able and willing to restore us to our former condition. To the person He knew in Glory, even before the creation of the world. The question is are you looking for a quick fix or can you stand to be made over?
My prayer for us today is that we would begin to embrace the difficulties of life, the trials and tribulations, that have only come to strip away the old to prepare for the new.
Have a blessed day!