Restore to me

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation,”    – Psalm 51:12a23a.  Restore to me

Have you ever been to one of those restoration warehouses?  I’m not talking about the upscale Restoration Hardware, but those quirky stores that stockpile old things that people might choose to use in their homes.  My wife Janet and I had a good time nosing around such a warehouse in the crossroads district of Kansas City.  You could find old light fixtures, doors, claw-foot tubs, stained glass, and loads of other things that had been salvaged from old homes, offices or churches.  All that you need to restore something that was rusty or painted over is some tools, maybe some cleaning/stripping formula, elbow grease, patience and vision.

The verb “restore” is used a lot in the Old Testament.  One instance, in Psalm 85, makes me chuckle.  It goes:

You showed favor to your land, O LORD; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.  You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins.  You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger.  Restore us again, O God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us.  (Psalm 85:1-4)

Maybe I’m just feeling a bit punchy this afternoon, but it’s the “again” part that makes me laugh.  The psalmist recounts how God had already restored the people of Israel, but as we know the people continued to foul up.   So now the psalmist has come back before the Lord, another time, and has to ask for the lord to “restore us again.”     Grammatically I guess that would be re-restore!  I must say I appreciate the honesty of the psalmist.  How many times is it that we need to ask for God’s restoring grace?

The verb “restore” may be used most of all in the book of Jeremiah.  And that makes sense since that’s a book traces how the people are carried off into exile to Babylon.   Jeremiah’s plea and promise is for a restoration of the people back to their land:  “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD . . . I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her ruins, and the palace will stand in its proper place.  From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing (Jeremiah 30:17-19).

Do you have any rust on your life?  Any nicks, scrapes or any other imperfections?  Any accumulated dirt, dust, old paint that is caking over your spirit and your soul?   It’s a good thing that God enjoys kicking around these warehouses too.  God spies you, lifts you up from behind a pile, blows off some of the dust, and in an instant sees what you can become again.

23b.  Restore to me  Prayer

Almighty God,

By your grace, mercy, forgiveness and love, reclaim us and make us a new    people (again).  Restore to us the beauty of your  image, and by the gift of  your Son and Holy Spirit, fill us with joy this day.

Amen.

 

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