The God Who Restores

Hey guys, remember when we had a drive-in communion service and we got to see people’s entire faces?? Wasn’t that amazing???

Right now, I get excited about the smallest things. Like, two minutes ago, my husband Mike suggested that we order in for dinner, and I was like “Really?? Food from the outside world?? YES!!!” I’m clinging to these small wins because – honestly – they feel like the only wins I’m going to get at the moment.

Restaurant food and glimpses of people’s faces from the nose down are literally my highlights from these past few weeks. These are strange times.

All this to say that, like my soon-to-be-ordered pizza - it’s good to have things to look forward to. In fact, in difficult times like this, I would even say it’s essential. So, church, I have some great news for you; this pandemic will end! These restrictions will be lifted, and we’ll be back to doing the chicken dance at weddings, and blowing out candles on Birthday cakes. But I also have some bad news (so sorry!). After the dangers of COVID have passed, after all the restrictions are lifted, we will still live in a fallen world. We will still have to deal with sickness, and the loss of loved ones. We will still have to navigate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

While we look forward to temporary relief, we long for ultimate healing. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians describes the groaning we experience here on earth as we long for our heavenly dwelling. We yearn to be free from sin, to be with the God who made us.

Church, I’m not going to leave you with bad news. But I think it’s important to acknowledge the brokenness of this world in order to fully appreciate what we have to look forward to. Because it’s in times like this; in the middle of our sorrow, our struggles and our hurts; in the middle of our stress and our fear, that these words from Revelation 21 offer the greatest hope for the future. It says:

[God] will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)

In this world we will have troubles. But ours is a God who rescues, redeems, and restores. And together, we look forward to the day that He makes all things new.

Jolene Sanders

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:1-5)

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