Have you ever heard the phrase, “leave it better than you found it?” Growing up my three brothers and I took a fancy to frequent wrestling, punching matches, and heated chases around the house. As unflattering (although now humorous) as it is to share with the world, we left many holes in the walls, broken windows, and stained spots. My poor parents!
Last year my parents left to spend a month in Florida, so my brothers and I concocted a brilliant plan to update their middle floor with fresh paint, modern decor, new fixtures, and more. Although I wasn’t there when they walked in the door I heard and can imagine the excitement that came over them. What once looked worn and old now looked fresh and new, it was almost unrecognizable!
That’s what Jesus does with our lives. He takes a tattered, broken, marked person and makes them better than ever before. When Jesus goes to work on us we become unrecognizable to the people who knew us before. Whenever I share my story of how I use to be in bondage to anger, people who didn’t know me then but do now can’t believe I use to be filled with it. Every time I tell them it’s only because of God’s handiwork and grace!
God’s definition of restoration doesn’t just mean putting us back together, but it means to go above and beyond in making us better than before. We’re always in far better shape after Jesus has gone to work on us than before. It doesn’t mean we won’t suffer or feel the growing pains because we will. 1 Peter 5 shares that we will suffer a bit but that God will restore us. That’s not a “maybe” or “if He feels like it.” It’s a promise that God will restore His people to a better place.
You might feel like your past has left you too broken to be of any use. You might feel so used and ashamed that God could never use someone like you. You’re not the only one because I’ve felt that. But these are lies the enemy wants us to believe to keep us down so that we won’t fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. Rebuke these thoughts and remind yourself of these scriptures we are learning about regarding our future!