Restoration is a great word. Webster’s dictionary defines as “the act of restoring or the condition of being restored: such as a bringing back to a former position or condition; a restoring to an unimpaired or improved condition.”
As previous Bible journal posters have written, Lamentations is a troubling book of the Bible. The prophet Jeremiah is “lamenting” about the Babylonians capture and takeover of Jerusalem. Scripture tells us that God warned the Jewish people, for generations, of their sinful ways through the prophet Jeremiah, but they did not listen and dearly paid the price for it.
In Lamentations, Jeremiah outlined the total devastation and enslavement of the Jewish people. Every aspect of their lives had pain and strife because of their unwillingness to relent and follow God’s wishes. The sad part of this chapter is that the people that suffered the most were not necessarily the individuals that committed the most sins. Generations of Jews had sinned while God was warning them and when they were captured and enslaved, future generations suffered the consequences of their ancestors.
This lesson causes me to think about the legacy our actions and faith leave for our families, sometimes generations to come. Our willingness to acknowledge the power of our almighty God is imperative to not only our faith but to our children, their children, and future generations. We are not just committing to faith for our own soul, but we are carving a path for our children to choose to have a relationship with Jesus. If we model the love and commitment to our faith, that we choose to follow Jesus, we are providing an opportunity for our children to follow our example.
Lamentations 5 was a “Prayer for Restoration” for the Jewish people. They were in a very dark and miserable place. Verse 7 says, “Our fathers sinned and are no more. But we bear their iniquities. There is none to deliver us from their hand.”
Our choice to follow Jesus can save our children from a life of despair and pain. Choose faith not only for your own life and soul, but the generations of your family to follow. I have written before that I am so fortunate to have grandparents and parents who were believers. We went to church, and I was baptized, but I had to make my own choice whether to believe in Jesus to be saved. All we can do is expose our children to the teachings and lessons of the Bible so they can experience for themselves the saving grace of Jesus during their lives.
Back to restoration. Sometimes we don’t appreciate the good times unless we experience the bad times. Our sinful nature is to take for granted when things are going well and expect things to continue that way forever. In our time on earth, the older we get, the more we realize that pain, death, and sadness are a part of our lives. The beautiful thing about our relationship with Jesus, as believers, is that we know no matter how bad or awful things get, Jesus will restore us. He will restore us while on earth through a “peace and understanding,” although still in pain, we can rest during the bad times. But the glorious celebration will occur when we die, when we are “restored” and provided a new life in Heaven. Revelations 21:4 tells us “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Heaven will be a glorious place. I love my family with all my heart and soul. I would do anything for them and don’t want to leave them. But I don’t fear death. I am confident my death will be a glorious reunion with my loved ones who are already in Heaven, and my worries, pains, and discomfort will be gone. What a glorious day that will be!
That is true RESTORATION.