In 2001, my husband and I were divorced. We had been married 13 years and have four beautiful children. I still had many issues from my childhood abuse to deal with, but in the next four years or so, I felt God was healing me in many ways. However, in mid 2005, I reacted to verbal abuse from my boss and walked out on a very good job.
This led to a year and a half of being in the wilderness. I lost absolutely everything tangible – all my friends from work and eventually my home. My family became dependent upon God for food, shelter… everything. I had once worked more than 70 hours a week, but I now found myself with an enormous amount of time on my hands and no one but God to fill it. God placed me in His Word, and I did study after study.
During this time, I learned that God is the true healer and that there is a huge difference between believing in God and believing God and His promises. When we lost our home, we moved to a small duplex, where I slept on the couch and gave the kids the two bedrooms. Yet we knew we were in God’s hands, and we were filled with joy.
God later restored me and gave me a great job. Shortly thereafter, He healed my broken marriage and gave back the years the locust had eaten. My husband and our four children were reconciled, and he and I have been remarried for more than two years. God truly does turn bad into good when we seek Him with all our heart! He healed me in areas I didn’t even realize still needed to be healed, and I can truly say just as Job did, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” More importantly, I learned there is always hope in God. Nothing is impossible for Him! And though His ways are certainly not our ways, His ways are always best!
Yesterday I found my son’s iPod between two cushions in the sofa. When I returned it to him, all his music listening enjoyment was instantly restored. Maybe if I found a purse on the street, I could return it to the owner and restore her financial security. But to restore the life of an entire family? Return to them love, joy and peace they once knew? Give more blessing than they had ever imagined? Only God can do something like that.
1. The act of returning something to a former owner, place or condition
Restoration is such a beautiful theme with God. We see it in the book of Job, in the locust-ridden history of the Israelites, and in the stories of our own lives. The plotline begins with a familiar scenario: complete and total brokenness. Lost people searching for answers. Hopelessness giving way to despair. Then one day, the defeated turn their cries toward God – His faithfulness, His love, and His power. And all throughout history, in His time and in His way and at His will, God restores.
Maybe you just read Laura’s story and thought to yourself, “That’s great for her. She has a beautifully restored life, but nothing like that could ever happen for me.” Do you know that the same God who restored Laura and her family longs to show His faithfulness to you? He does. The God of glory is at work all around you. Your circumstances are not unknown to Him. He is not sleeping through your heartache. He has not misplaced His plan for you future. Laura told us her story because she lived through years of brokenness, negative consequences and pain. He wants us to know that if God is big enough and merciful enough to restore her, He can and will do the same for us.
But there also seems to be a theme for the restored. Broken people turn their lives toward God, and not just for a day or a few prayers. These desperate people fall across His alter and stay there, believing Him to be their only hope.
Are you willing to turn and give every broken thing to God? Broken people keep waiting, as if they finally understand that God moves in His time, according to His purposes, and always for His glory.
Will you wait for the God who restores? His restoration of broken people is always more than they could have dreamed. Marriages are renewed. Wayward children come home. Addictions are broken. New dreams are given.
Do you trust God for more than you ask, imagine, or hope for? Oh, my friend, I pray that Laura’s story is just the thing your broken heart needed to hear. I pray that her wait and her heart for God will inspire you to trust in the God of healing. Bring your pain, bring your embarrassment, bring your mistakes… bring them all to Him. And then, will you wait? What if you wait for seven years, as Laura did? Or ten, or even more? Wouldn’t it be something to see God restore to you all the years the locust have eaten?
And here’s one thing I have learned about God: When He restores what has been taken from you, He gives back multiplied! God loves to show off His glory, doing what no one ever believed could be possible.
May all of us who are broken come and wait for God. I pray for a day very soon when you will look at His restoration in your life and declare with the people of God through the ages, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you!”