Restoration – “a return of something to a former, original, normal, or unimpaired condition.”
The night before Christmas a young teen who had just received his driver’s license two weeks prior, ran into the back-end of my car. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the back-end of my car was not in good shape and would have to be brought into the body shop.
Insurance covered the cost and within a week I had my car back, restored to its former good condition. I considered it a fair deal. I feel pretty blessed when things work out that way!
But there is another kind of restoration.
One that is a much better deal.
It’s a God-sized restoration.
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten”
In Luke 7:36-50 there is a story about a broken, hurting, unnamed woman who had exhausted every hope offered by the world. A woman who knew that sitting at the feet of Jesus in worship was her only hope for restoration.
“One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.”
I see this woman, labeled as “immoral” with not only her sin, but the sin of our world piled high against her. Her soul aching. I imagine the mistreatment and abuse she most likely endured. The looks of disdain. The enemy whispering and taunting her with his lies. He tells her,
You are …
too much of a sinner for even Jesus to forgive you.
capable of nothing more
stuck in this life right where you are. Just give up.
The enemy whispers, GIVE UP, but God says, KEEP GOING, and restores our brokenness. #Godsized #redeemed #hope Click To Tweet
But deep within her, the voice of truth kept beckoning. He relentlessly pursued her heart, calling for her to find the only One who can restore. The only One who can repay her for all that the ugliness this world had taken from her. Repay her not with only what had been taken from her, but restore her to a version of herself better than she had ever been.
So she took the risk. She showed up at the Pharisee’s home just before she knew Jesus would arrive. She brought only herself and the valuable perfumed oil that marked her trade as a prostitute.
It didn’t matter that she could be scorned again.
She knew this was her very last hope.
So there she waited. Ready. Hoping to be allowed the potential role of the lowly servant appointed the task of anointing the feet of the guest. Her hope riding on this one moment.
Suddenly she realized that Simon was not following the usual custom of welcoming the guest with a kiss, washing and drying his feet, and anointing His head.
So the woman jumped into action.
With every bit of hope welling forth, she knelt at his feet and began to sob. As a woman hardened by sin, the tears had been welled up and buried deep within her. But now they flowed and with them, she washed His feet. Having no towel, she dried them with her hair.
Finally spilling forth every ounce of rare perfume from within the jar, she anointed His feet. Knowing that this was the moment in life she had been longing for.
She poured out tears long hidden behind the facade of a life that was “just fine”.
Then, she cleaned with the hair that marked her beauty.
Additionally, she emptied the perfumed oil that marked her trade.
Finally, she surrendered it all to the one who restores.
The men of course judged. They deemed her as wasteful. Using the rare perfume for something silly, even disrespectful. If Jesus were a prophet, he would know who she was and not allow her to touch Him!
“That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.”
It was in her sacrifice.
The way she handed over her sins.
“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only a little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
In that moment – the moment she had been searching for most of her life, she encountered the love of Jesus. With it, she found a
It wasn’t a restoration that merely returned what had been taken. But it was a restoration that left her better than she had ever been.
She hadn’t known the One who gives life and restores our sin. But now she did.
This lady had been unaware of the things that can take us down the road of sin. But now she was.
She had only known the sting of judgment and unforgiveness. Now she would leave judgment to Him and find forgiveness for even those who have sinned against her.
She hadn’t known she was loved and valued. Now she recognized love in its rightful form.
The woman’s identity was wrapped in her sin and in the label given to her by society. She knew Jesus had something for her. But I don’t think she could even fathom the depth of what He held for her. His restoration.
He claimed her from the murkiest depths of her sin. A sin that had entangled itself throughout her identity. But He removed every last fiber of that sin, making her better than new.
Storms. Trials. Sin. Pain. It may be piled high against you. But, friends, Jesus will wash it all away. He washes away your sin and the sin has done to you. God will not just restore you. He will repay for all that has been taken away and give you an even better version of yourself.
There is never too much.
Sit at His feet.
There you will encounter it.
And if you need someone to encourage you to take the risk or someone to pray you through it, I would be honored to take that role. Because I believe in you. Your value. Your worth. And your story. It matters.
Catch the entire God-Sized Series!
Week 1 – Filling the God-Sized Hole in My Heart
In Week 2 – A God-Sized Hope to Conquer the Storm
For Week 3 – What I Wish My Younger Self Knew About God-Sized Approval
Finally, in Week 4 – Surrendering It All for a God-Sized Restoration
Before you go… Could you use some real HOPE today??
I’ve created the 5-Day Hope Toolkit: Claiming the Victory of a Hope-filled Life just for you!
(Get it here) I’ve designed it so that it breaks these 5 strategies down into manageable pieces.
In it, you will receive a 5-day series of Scripture prayers giving you a solid foundation in how to pray God’s Will through praying His Word. You will also receive:
- A checklist to determine whether you have a hopeful or hopeless attitude.
- A beautiful printable image with positive “I am ….” statements of truth.
- A list of my go-to books, blogs, and websites when I am in need of encouragement.
To get to your 5-Day Hope Toolkit, click HERE!