Breathe in clear thoughts of peace and reflection as you prepare to hear God speak to you through the scripture and the writer. Put aside all the things the world says you have to accomplish today and use this time to rest in God’s presence.
Jeremiah 32:36-44 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Now therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, “It is being given into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence”: See, I am going to gather them from all the lands to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation; I will bring them back to this place, and I will settle them in safety. They shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for all time, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them, never to draw back from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing good to them, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.
For thus says the Lord: Just as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good fortune that I now promise them. Fields shall be bought in this land of which you are saying, It is a desolation, without human beings or animals; it has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans. Fields shall be bought for money, and deeds shall be signed and sealed and witnessed, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, of the hill country, of the Shephelah, and of the Negeb; for I will restore their fortunes, says the Lord.
God has always been in the business of restoration – since Adam and Eve messed up in the garden and disobeyed Him. Up until that time, the plan was that we would have perfect everything – bodies, minds, lives, relationships; and an especially perfect relationship with the God Who loves us. But…back to reality. The reality is: God is in the restoration business. Jeremiah speaks the promise of God to the Israelites; and just as importantly, He speaks that promise to each of us today. Our cities, our land, our families. And God has, is, and will continue to do that, through us. But and we, ourselves, need restoration-I need restoration. Because of bad choices-mine or others. I have been the Prodigal son over and over again, coming back to my Heavenly Father with a prepared speech confessing my screw-ups, begging forgiveness, wanting healing and-you guessed it-restoration. But God always sees me coming from far off, even before I see God. And as God said to the people through Jeremiah, so He says to me: “I will restore you. You have always been my child. And I will give you a reason to worship me. You will know again the joy of salvation and restoration.”
I, myself, am humbled that God does this at all, but the fact is, The Holy One keeps doing it again and again partly because I keep leaving Him again and again, and always just because He loves me. And He always interrupts my speech! Thank You, Good Father! Thank You, Brother-Redeemer-Restorer Jesus.
Dear Dad: Thank You for restoring me every time I fall and every time, I come back to You. Thank You for always looking out for me, whether it is from the front porch or as I am running down the road, whether away from You or toward You. Help those who read this to believe this is true. Help us all to see Your kind of restoration. In You I pray, Amen.
Go with God!