My friends and I often joke about how we want our word for the year to be Nap or Hawaii; we want a good word – one that means good stuff is coming, not more hard stuff. I began praying throughout December for my word for 2018 and after much seeking, God gave it to me:
Immediately, my mind went to Joel 2:25: I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. Yes! This was a great word! God was going to restore what we lost the last two years. We had put so much on hold as we walked through Kris’ health journey. God was going to restore our dreams, our material dreams.
But that wasn’t the verse God gave me. (insert Debbie Downer wah wah.)
Instead He took me to another verse, and showed me what it truly means to restore.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. – 1 Peter 5:10
Growing up, my dad was a contractor, and because of that, I have a natural propensity to constantly update and change my house. (Poor Kris!) I’m always looking for a better way to make our house function. If we tore down this wall or changed that or got rid of that… If only updating my house worked like TV – one hour and it’s all picture perfect.
The truth is restoration requires destruction… pain… stripping down. In order to build something more beautiful, you first have to remove the junk.
The Greek Word Peter uses for restore is katarizo. It’s the same word used for fisherman mending their nets. It means to fit out, equip, put in order, arrange, adjust. Ethically, it means to make one what he ought to be. Bible Hub goes into deeper meaning of the root words (stick with me while I geek-out):
From kata “according to down” intensifying artizo “to adjust” (which is derived from atrios “properly adjusted”), properly, exactly fit (adjust) to be in good working order – i.e. adjusted exactly “down” to fully functioning.
Adjusted exactly DOWN to FULLY functioning. We don’t often think of stripping away to make our lives more functional. But there’s a movement among us, one that beckons us to simplify, to do more by doing less.
I have a great deal of gunk built up from the last two years. Walking through the hard places of life leaves you weary. To restore, there must be a stripping down, removing the gunk that clogs my ability to function. Like a house, stripped to the studs, so that a more functioning, beautiful home can be built.
Restoration starts with breaking down, but the result is built up: stronger, more stable, fully functioning – set on a solid foundation.