The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:9) ~ ever wish for things to go back to the way they used to be? I’m done with that wish! Here’s why:
Have you ever heard the phrase, “leave it better than you found it?” Growing up my sister, my brothers and I took a fancy to all kinds of horseplay, dancing matches, and frequent chases around the house. As unflattering (although now humorous) as it is to share with the world, we left a major mess, including dings in the walls, broken items, and random stain spots around the house. My poor mother! We heard never ending stories of how hard it was for her to work and provide this house that we tore up and cared nothing about – yeah, we were pretty bad sometimes.
As we got a little older (and more mature, learning to appreciate what she was doing for us), my mother would go to work while we were at home during the summer, my sister, brothers and I concocted a brilliant plan to really clean the house and try to make it look brand new so that when she came home she wouldn’t see the mess we had made every day, but a house she would be happy to come home to. We cleaned everything we could touch. When the four of us got done, what once looked worn and old and messy now looked fresh and new, it was almost unrecognizable!
That’s what Jesus does with our lives. He takes a tattered, broken, marked person and makes them better than ever before. When Jesus gets to work on us we become unrecognizable to the people who knew us before. This is only because of God’s handiwork and grace!
God’s definition of restoration doesn’t just mean putting us back together the way we used to be, but it means to go above and beyond in making us better than before. We’re always in far better shape after Jesus has gone to work on us than before. It doesn’t mean we won’t suffer or feel the growing pains because we will. 1 Peter 5 shares that we will suffer a bit but that God will restore us. That’s not a “maybe” or “if He feels like it.” It’s a promise that God will restore His people to a better place. Remember, the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning (Job 42:12).
You might feel like your past has left you too broken, dirty or messy to be of any use. You might feel so used and ashamed and think that God could never use someone like you. You’re not the only one because I’ve felt that and often still do. But these are lies the enemy wants us to believe to keep us down so that we won’t fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. Rebuke these thoughts and remind yourself of the love of God and what a clean up job He does on us! You are His Masterpiece! Fearfully and wonderfully made! He won’t leave you in that mess… in fact God will clean up your mess and you’ll be better than you were when you started out!!! Stop wishing for things to be the way they used to be! When God gets done with you things will be better than they used to be! God promises that! Be Blessed!!!