What does it look like to restore a soul? Is it quick like a snap of a finger? Or is it a slower process taking place over a long period of time?
When we accept Christ’s gift of salvation by grace, we are instantly free from both the stain of sin and the penalty of death. In that sense, our soul is immediately restored. But some restoration takes longer.
My husband and I have restored a few pieces of furniture lately. Our latest was an old dresser that belonged to my grandparents. First, we had to strip off the layers of paint, varnish, and stain that had accumulated over the years to get down to the original wood. Next came the process of repairing places that were broken and shoring up weak joints. Finally, we got to the point where we could add new stain, new varnish, new paint and replace missing hardware until the dresser looked whole again.
Restoration takes time.
In Psalm 23, we’re presented with the picture of the Lord as our Shepherd. He is the one who restores our souls. Early in the Psalm we see the sheep, safe and protected, in a verdant pasture beside calm waters. They have all they need. But the shepherd doesn’t keep them in that happy comfortable space forever. Sometimes, He leads them through the valley—the dark and dangerous valley that could bring death. Even though the Shepherd guides and protects them through it, he doesn’t keep his sheep from it. Why?
What if the valley is part of the restoration process? What if we need the valley to strip off the layers of lies and warped thinking that mar our souls? What if we need the valley to repair what is broken inside? What if we need the valley to replace what was lost?
We’ve all come through a pretty rough season. Some of us were affected more than others, but none of us have remained untouched. As we see sunlight at the end of the tunnel of hardship, it’s easy to think, “Finally. Now things can get back to normal.” But should they? Think back over the past year or so. Were there things in your life that God stripped away for the better? Were there broken places He fixed? Were there lost pieces in your life He replaced? Don’t lose sight of the restoration work that comes from the hard and uncomfortable.
On the blog this summer, we’ll be exploring the concepts of restoration, revival, and renewal. I hope you will join us as various Equip Her writers share their favorite verses and passages on how our God restores, revives, and renews. We look forward to connecting with you briefly each week as we enter this season of promise.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord