A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan
“Restore me, and I will return, for You are the Lord my God.” — Jeremiah 31:18
Our God is in the restoration business. Indeed our God is a restorer. I looked up the Oxford dictionary to find the meaning of the word “restore” and it is quite simply: to give something stolen, or removed, back to the original owner.
If we think about it, that is exactly what God does for you and me. He restores that which the moth and cankerworm have destroyed. Restoration is the nature of God.
CS Lewis the great Christian modern-day writer said: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy,…I was made for another world.”
We are not of this world, there is an insatiable emptiness and hunger in our souls that nothing can fill, but the love of God. It is only hope in Jesus Christ that can restore that emptiness.
Most of us lament the mistakes that we have made. All of us, if we had the chance to relive our lives, we would definitely not make the same mistakes we made in the past.
I have spoken to many people who are lamenting because of their past. Maybe they have been through a divorce, maybe they have done something illegitimately, maybe they have been to prison, maybe they have lost their job position because of dishonesty and they are lamenting their situation. Is there any hope left for me? That’s the question. Well, the answer is good news — the Lord specialises in taking failures and turning them inside out and making them into successes.
I remember distinctly as a brand-new Christian, almost 40 years ago now, listening to a speaker from America who said in his broad American accent: “You will never make a racehorse out of a donkey.”
Even as a new believer, that did not gel in my heart because I see myself as very much a donkey. In fact, in my early preaching days they used to give me the title of bongol, which is a Zulu word for a donkey.
I actually was honoured by that title because it was a bongol (donkey) that carried the Master into Jerusalem, and it was a donkey that carried Mary and the baby Jesus into Egypt to escape from the wrath of King Herod.
My God actually specialises in taking donkeys and making them into Durban July racehorse winners. You might ask the question: why? It’s because He does not and will not share His glory with any man. Anything good that we do in our lives, literally magnifies the name of our Heavenly Father, simply because people know that we, in our carnal strength, in our fallen state, could never achieve the heights and the prizes that we have received through Christ.
So, God is a restorer and we can count on God’s promises over our lives. As I sit here writing this column I get quite emotional when I think of how the Lord took me out of the bottomless pit, just like He did with King David, and seated me on a rock and restored me. The things that He has done in my life would never have been possible if I had not met Him as my Lord and Saviour.
I want to encourage you today to turn back to the Restorer and let Him renew your life.
I love the old story, that God has a bad memory because once He forgives, He forgets and He never brings up the past. So confess your sins (1 John 1:9) and move on in faith and let God make you a champion racehorse for Him.