A few years ago were hit by a tornado that destroyed WarmFuzzy’s animal shelter. Luckily there was no loss of life but the tornado picked up the shelter and dropped it. The cats inside were terrified by the experience and the shelter itself was a total loss. To this day when a big storm blows in, the cats disappear into hiding and even we sometimes get the jitters. Our house groaned and was bent during that storm and some items on the property were found over a mile away. Some were never found. The tornado also destroyed a large storage trailer on the back of the property and debris is still strewn about. That tornado cost us thousands of dollars and we still have not recovered.
I used to ride motorcycles back when I was young and stupid. I still have some old war wounds from that era that visit me periodically. Aches and pains from a season of foolishness. You might say I’ve been glued back together but the cracks still show. The Missus was is a very bad accident before I met her and even after multiple surgeries, some parts will never be the same.
We recover but we are never really restored and perhaps that is a good thing because those old wounds, the aches, the pain, and memories remind us of where we have been and how God was always there to see us through.
When we have suffered great loss we hit our knees and pray for recovery and restoration but are we praying for the right things? Too often we focus on material possessions because we worked hard for them, we depend on them and we cherish them. We miss them when they are gone. We also pray for physical healing and comfort. We might even pray for things unseen like emotional healing, the removal of turmoil and restoration of peace.
Material things are replaceable and rarely if ever are they really that important. Physical damage and emotional pain will heal with time and peace will be restored but there is something more important than all of these. Our walk with God.
David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband, Uriah. When Nathan the prophet came to David to inform him of God’s judgment against him, David didn’t try to justify what he had done. He prostrated himself before God and cried, “Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from they presence. Take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and uphold me with thy free spirit.”
Psalm 51 continues:
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
David came to God with a broken spirit and genuine feelings of regret and sorrow.
“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” David had been cut off from God. That closeness, that intimacy was gone.
1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
In my life I have suffered great loss and I have endured unimaginable pain. Sin separated me from God. I lost everything and I have not a probably will never recover from such loss but I have been restored because God heard the earnest cries from my broken spirit and contrite heart.
Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and because of that sin, they were separated from God and they knew it.
And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where are you?
When we walk away from God He will come looking for us and if we don’t turn around, He may even send His prophet to deliver a message. He wants to restore our relationship with Him but sin must first be dealt with.
We all suffer loss at one time or another and I’m not saying that every loss we suffer is due to sin. What I am saying is that we should make sure that we are praying for the right thing to be restored. Our walk with Him is far more important than worldly goods.
How close do you feel to God these days? Is it close enough?