Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved. Psalm 80:7
Restoration. What a powerful word. Life has a way of beating you down and battering your heart. We are created so full of expectation and hope, yet we constantly struggle to find the peace and purpose. God, in his great goodness and mercy shines his face on us. He draws us close to him when we least deserve it. He provides us rest from the mess of our lives and from ourselves.
This Advent season, salvation and restoration are close. God is our refuge, our comfort in times of trouble. Restoration is what happens when we land in God’s grace. He restores our hope, our heart, our will to survive. He redeems our purpose and gives the circumstances of our life new meaning.
Life brings hardships. They are unavoidable. I can see how the struggles I have encountered were for a divine purpose. They have shaped who I am, and who God wants me to be. I can now share and offer the wisdom of those experiences to others as they work toward restoration in their own seasons of suffering. The quality of our suffering can determine the beauty of our gratitude. Our moments of sorrow have the potential to deepen those seasons of splendor. How do you view your pain? Is it the road to your peace? Does it drive you to Jesus? Is it the cross to your restoration? May you look to your road with great expectation this advent season. May you carefully embrace and savor your journey, all the parts and all the bumps. May God be real, and deep, and potent in your life, today and every day forward.
Dearest Lord and Savior, you are the one who gives us life, and breath and meaning. May we always look to you for our renewed sense of purpose. May we see your salvation and restoration in everything you do, everything that happens to us, and every road that lies ahead. Help us to be more of who you designed us to be, and may we decide to be more and more like you. Give us eyes to see the work you are doing in our lives, today and always. In Christ’s precious name we pray. Amen.