"Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved." (NIV) Psalm 80:3
One of the many blessings that my family has received from my father is the many stained glass pieces in our homes. From my mom, my brother, as well as close family friends, we all have many beautiful masterpieces that my dad worked hard on. Each one is truly a labor of love - whether they are beautiful pieces in our windows, lamps, or even night lights. All of them are truly special and we treasure each of them.
About a year or so ago, one of the lamps that is in my bedroom started to separate. The solder was starting to weaken and the glass part began separating from the lamp base. Knowing how much it meant to me, my husband tried to solder it back together. Yet, the solder didn't hold and the lamp started to break. Each time the lamp separated from the base, my heart ached. I saw Daddy's hard work disintegrating in front of me.
I couldn't help but be reminded of how our Dear Lord must feel each time we separate from Him, whether it is with our words or actions. As we fall to sin, we fall farther and farther away from God. Yes, we may ask for forgiveness, but throughout each day, we can fall away from God and into Satan's grip. Yes, we can blame Adam and Eve (not to mention that serpent). Yes, we can even blame others, "They MADE me do it." The ultimate responsibility, though, is ours. We are responsible for our own sin, for the things that we think, say and do that are not in line with the commandments.
We have great news, though. News that will impact us each day, making us stronger, making us closer to God. We have the great news that Jesus died on the cross for each and every sin we commit. He did this not just out of obedience to His father, He did it purely out of His love for us. His love, that unconditional love, that graces us each and every day. He restored us to the children He wants us to be - and that restoration happens every day. Each day, we sin. Each day, we are forgiven. There is no greater news than that!!
A few weeks back, I took my lamp to the only person who could truly restore it = a professional. It happened to be someone that Daddy knew well and even after all these years of Daddy's passing, the stained glass professional remembered him. He took the piece into his hands and told me he would "make it better". He did! What you see above is the restored piece - broken pieces all fixed and it shining brightly again.
Isn't this what happens when we go back to our Heavenly Father to ask forgiveness? He takes us gently into His hands and "makes us better" - clears our sin, and fixes all the broken pieces so we can shine brightly again. As I turned on my lamp last night, it didn't just remind me of Daddy, it reminded me of Jesus - restoring us to His children. How blessed are we to have a loving father who takes us in, regardless of how broken we are, and makes us new.
Shine in the good news that we are saved, that He loves us enough to die for us and rise for us, that we have a heavenly home to go to that He will be waiting for us with open arms. I can't help but smile as I write this, as during this Lenten season, we know that we are broken - and that we are saved. May the week ahead find moments where you smile with the joy that you have been restored!! Pray with me: Heavenly Father, you are the great restorer. You can take the broken pieces of our lives; sin, regret, guilt, and put it back together to restore us to the children you want us to be. Help us to see that in all we do and say throughout the week - may we come to you asking for your forgiveness and walking in a stronger light. In your gracious name we pray. Amen.