â€œThe LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in wantâ€¦he restores my soul.â€ Ps 23:1, 3a
â€œI have made you, you are my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you. I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, O earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all you trees, For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.â€ Isaiah 44:21b-23 (think about your name in the place of Israel and Jacob â€“ as one redeemed by God this truth is just as true about you!)
There have been several words repeating themselves in my journal and in my thoughts this last month.
Restore, Renew, Redeem and Return.
As I wait for my body to get over this sickness, to be restored to good health, I think about the Lord who restores my soul. He finds me in the middle of my weariness and weakness and prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies. He restores my soul.
As I look around at all the housework that has been set aside while Iâ€™ve been ill and cleaning patterns that need to be renewed, I think about how the Lord renews my mind and my relationship with Him. I am ever challenged with the truth of His word to confront lies and be renewed with truth. Even more, He sweeps away my sins and renews my relationship Him by the blood of Christ, shed for me.
As I think about days of doing little but coughing and sleeping I think of how the process of restoring good health to my body redeems time that seems like a waste. In the same way, Christ has redeemed all my life. All my past has been redeemed by his blood and I can learn from it. All my present days are times redeemed to let His glory shine through me. And my future, for all eternity I am His. He has redeemed me as His possession. Once I was a slave to sin. Now I am redeemed to be a bondservant, a friend and an heir of righteousness.
As Iâ€™ve been sick Iâ€™ve longed for a return to normal days and normal activities. I anticipate the moment when small actions wonâ€™t wear me out. When I am weak and I stumble, I am so thankful for the Lordâ€™s open arms. I can always, even moment by moment, return to Him for He is always with me. I also anticipate His return, when He will renew all things, when He will redeem this world and restore a rule of holiness and righteousness.
Restore, Renew, Redeem and Return â€“ Beautiful words of encouragement.