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24 November 2020
The God of new beginnings and second chances
Words Robert Donaldson
It is heartbreaking to drive around and see that so many local businesses that were thriving this time last year are now nothing more than vacant buildings – just empty shells of what used to be. They are casualties of the economic downfall as a by-product of the COVID-19 pandemic. But they are more than just empty buildings – they all have a story to tell. They represent, and are a stark reminder of, broken dreams, lost opportunities and the countless possibilities of what could have been.
Many of these business owners – and the people who were employed by them – still hold on to the hope that ‘what once was’ can be restored and brought back to life. In fact, it is this hope that drives them to keep moving forward and not give up.
Restoration. What a powerful word. The dictionary would define it as the process of bringing something that is broken or destroyed back to an earlier, and usually better, condition and making it useful again. We can all think of restoration projects we have undertaken – some with great success that have brought us so much satisfaction and a sense of achievement – and others that did not go to plan and we would rather forget!
But restoration is much broader in its meaning than simple handyman projects.
What comes to your mind when you hear that word? Perhaps you imagine your health or your career being restored. Perhaps you imagine your marriage or your family being restored. Perhaps you imagine your sense of self-worth and self-value being restored.
Whatever your hope might be, God is in the restoration business. God is the God of restoration, the God of new beginnings and the God of second chances. He specialises in taking broken dreams, shattered hopes and lost potential and transforming them into something beautiful and of greater value than we had ever imagined or dreamed possible.
In the well-known 23rd Psalm in the Bible, King David reminds us of the daily provision of God for us when we put our trust in him. Whether we are feeling tired, exhausted or broken, he assures us that the hope that ‘what once was’ can be restored and brought back to life, as we rest in his love. Listen to his invitation:
The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honour to his name.
Psalm 23, verses 1-3 The Passion Bible translation