I have a 1962 GMC on which I did a frame-up restoration. It started with a rusty, pickup with flat tires sitting in someone’s yard who had lost the vision of what the truck could be. Now it sits in my garage; and now I have lost the vision of what it could be! Now I merely have a vision of what it used to be. I remember driving down the road with my youngest daughter beaming in the front seat with her hand flying in the wind, (she couldn’t ride in the front seat of the newer cars because of the airbags). I could spend a great deal of effort trying to restore this truck back to its former glory – but no matter what, she’s not going to be an 8-year-old ever again! Sure, the truck could look like new, but until I have grandkids, I’m not sure I want to try and restore something just for myself.
Is God interested in restoring us to our former glory? What does that even look like?
I remember the day I started restoring my pickup. An older guy in our church who had restored multiple cars asked me what seemed like a simple question, “Are you going to modify her or keep her original?” I had no idea what I wanted. He proceeded with some follow-up questions, “Are you going to put seat belts in? Are you going to put a better engine in it? What about a radio? Are you going to put in a new dashboard? What about brakes and steering? Are you going to leave the ‘three on the tree,’ or are you going to put in an automatic transmission?”
I don’t think I want to drive a 1962 GMC through the mountains of California or Colorado. I decided I was going to modify it. There’s a reason they don’t build them like they used to! Did I really restore the truck? I like to think that I made it better that the original version of itself.
Do you really think that God has any interest in restoring you to something from the past? Or does He have a better plan for you?
Too many believers refer to the Garden of Eden as the perfect creation as though God wants to restore us to the Garden of Eden. God’s ideal is not to return us to the Garden, but to restore us to something better. His plan has always included the fall, and His plan has always included redemption and restoration. There is no alternative universe where Jesus didn’t need to be “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth.” Let me be clear, God didn’t want us to know evil, but He needed us to know the difference between good and evil to be in communion with Him. But He also needed us to be holy as He is holy, so we had to be made holy. He brought forth a new Adam in Jesus that we might be restored to something far better than the Garden of Eden – an eternity of communion with God, not just in the cool of the day.
Creation. Redemption. Restoration.
How are you being restored by the Spirit through the authority and righteousness of Christ? Are you stuck trying to get back to the past? Let Him restore you to something far greater.