“I will never trust another man as long as I live!”
“She took me for all I was worth, and then she took the kids.”
“How could a loving God allow this to happen? There’s no way I can believe in Him.”
Talk to anyone for a short time, and you will learn that they have been hurt and wounded in their lifetime. We have all experienced some sort of trauma, and at most times, our own seems to be the worst there is out there.
What is able to bring it?
“I’ll make him (or her) pay!” That might bring restoration, but more often-than-not, this attitude only adds to the fuel of the fire, increasing the pain on both sides resulting in regression instead of progression. “I’ll forgive and forget if I can cut that person out of my life.” Sorry, there will always be thoughts and events that bring reminders of “that person”, and before it’s even recognizable, the mind is engaged in reliving negative events and digging up negative emotions… negatively affecting… you.
Is it true that time heals all wounds? Can time bring restoration? It’s not time itself that heals, but one’s own dealing with one’s mind, and emotions – often with a good counselor, and a better understanding of humanity that brings along the healing process.
All troubles, if you think about it, stem from selfishness. But be careful. Before thinking that other people are the selfish ones, would you be willing to have a light shone down on your own thoughts and actions? Selfishness is bound to be exposed there, and it has probably caused pain to others. “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10 NIV. Is restoration a hopeless thought? If we are all truly guilty and unrighteous, why do we long for something that we don’t deserve?
“How am I ever going to get ahead?”
“Will today be the day I finally get a job? I want to work, but no one is hiring.”
“Where am I going to get food to feed my family today?”
“I’ll get another job to make ends meet.” And then there’s a car or appliance breakdown, an unexpected injury or illness… or no available job.
Economies go up and down, and changes in skill-set needs occur in the marketplace. Where does the suffering one turn for help? For some, economic restoration is taking place. A shift has recently taken place in the U.S. The economy is booming for the most part. The minimum wage is higher, tax changes have come, construction can be seen and heard, and many companies are hiring for multiple positions. If one takes a moment to look, there is a rash of new cars on the road, and houses are being built and bought. Maybe a discussion of actually taking a vacation is now a reality. Ahh, doesn’t it feel good.
“I’m living the life!”
“There’s still something missing.”
“Try meditation.” “Try mindfulness.” “Try shopping!” “There is nothing more – this is all there is. Live it up while you can.”
What will fill the distant longing; the aching emptiness?
Maybe the question is not “What”, but “Who”. Who will restore? Who will restore my relationships, my physical and economic needs, my spiritual needs?
Have you considered Jesus? Yeshua came to restore. He left His place in heaven, as God and Creator of the universe, to come in human form to restore. To restore us relationally. To restore us physically. To restore us economically. To restore us spiritually. He stands as the source of restoration and healing for all life, but life must be willing to take – to receive – what He offers. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus offers us a full life here and now, but the best part is eternal life for those that will follow Him. If someone you know offered you the best position in the world that provided a full life, would you jump at the change, or say, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’m quite comfortable in my misery and sickness.”
Many think that an abundant, full life, is one with no strife, conflict, or trouble of any kind with endless days at the beach. But, in fact, that sounds like a fairly empty life. Even if one is blessed with riches and free time, there is still trouble. In fact, Jesus promises that even His followers will have trouble. However, He also promises to be with us and help us through them all, and He restores us. He restores us physically, emotionally, relationally, and financially.
A full life, an abundant life, is not one without trouble, but rather one that overcomes. Jesus is the ultimate overcomer and restorer. He says, in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” And 1 John 5:4 says that everyone born of God, overcomes the world! Are you born of God? Do you know Christ? Maybe it’s time to blow the dust off the big book and dig into it. He patiently waits for you. He loves you and longs for you.