He restores my soul.
It might be one of the most famous passages of scripture:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:1-3 ESV)
He restores my soul.
My soul feels…tattered. It feels bent and broken, by sin, by suffering, by this world.
But He restores my soul.
I can’t stop thinking about that verse. He restores it. The promise isn’t that he has restored my soul; we’re not talking about the one-and-done of justification. The promise isn’t that he will restore my soul; we’re not talking about the end of this whole mess when He sets us right. He restores my soul. Present tense. Today. Now.
He’s in the ongoing continual process of restoring my soul. He is restoring my soul tonight in this coffee shop. He is restoring it with every hurt and he is restoring it with every hug. He was restoring my soul when he ordained cancer cells multiply in my father’s body. He was restoring my soul when he allowed the death of my friend and brother.
Restoration is a magnificent, but painful process.
My sister bought a house a few years back that she has been restoring. Let me tell you, that house looks a million times better now than when she bought it. I’m so proud of her. But restoration is no joke. There were some rooms she could just make over – polish up a little with new fixtures and new flooring. But most of the house she had to tear down to the studs. She had to take out walls, rip up floor boards – all the while taking care to preserve the character and beauty of the original house. See, she wasn’t trying to replace it, she was trying to restore it.
Restoration. It’s not polishing. It’s not destroying. It’s about taking something that has been wrecked and ruined and transforming it the best version of itself.
And God says – that’s what He’s doing for His kids – today. Right now.
Whatever you’re facing today: smiles or tears, dreams or disappointments hear these two glorious truths: (1) God is not done with you. And (2) restoration is not waiting somewhere down the road. He is restoring you – here and now – through your deepest failure and your greatest victory; through the sweetest news and the saddest day.
Trust – I know there are days when it doesn’t look or feel like much of anything is being restored. Jesus knows too.
There’s this moment in The Passion of the Christ when Jesus is carrying the Cross and as He’s bearing it – bloody and broken – He looks up and says these words: “Behold, I am making all things new.” What a strange way our God has of making things new; through death and pain and suffering.
There are days so dark that restoration seems unfathomable, but look to that Friday and take heart. He was restoring you even then – even in the darkest moment of history. Surely, we can trust He is restoring us today.
He restores the soul.