Restore Is Too Small A Hope
God isn’t interested in bringing you back to the good old days. God is interested in bringing you into the newly realized goal of being right here, right now. Restore is too small of a hope for anyone’s life.
Yet, if we are honest, restoring what has been – where we have been and what we have been – is often our preferred prayer. Instead of longing for the newly realized goal of being right here, right now, we all too often desire to return to an already realized past. We hold onto old notions, old feelings and old memories of a life when things seemed to be better.
No shame. No judgment. No condemnation. This is simply you and God getting real. This is all about allowing God to meet you right here, right now. Allowing God to give you a new present.
So, I want to offer you some perspectives to ponder when you find yourself hoping and praying that God would simply restore your life to a former time.
First, if God merely wanted to restore your life to a former time, then God would have frozen everything in your life at that time. Although this would mean that you would forfeit another gift from God. The gift of free will.
Forfeiting your free will would effectively prevent you from making any new decisions, any new choices and any new mistakes. Yes, forfeiting your free will would successfully preserve some earlier time in your life. Yet, it would also condemn you to living your life without the gift of making any new decisions.
Where’s the fun in that? No learning? No growing? No making mistakes and becoming a better, stronger person because of them? Everything in your life would be the same, routine and predictable.
Oh, and by the way, what in the world would you do when your life eventually rounded itself right back to where you are today? For time always marches on. If you can’t make any new decisions in your life, won’t you simply end up right back here, hoping for an earlier time in your life to be restored?
Second, this earlier time in life, that you would like God to restore, requires you to live in it. So, will you live in this earlier time as you are today? With all of your knowledge and experience? Or will you live in this earlier time as the person you were, when you actually lived in that earlier time in the first place?
Restore is too small of a hope because you can’t have your time restored in a vacuum. Yes, God can restore your life to an earlier time. But you would have to be restored as well. Would you be restored as you are today? Or would you be restored as you were back then?
You would either have to be restored to an earlier time, as an earlier version of yourself. Thus, forgetting all that you have learned up to this point in your life. Or you would have to be restored to an earlier time, exactly as you are right now. Living in a restored time but with all of the knowledge and experience that you have gained throughout the entire course of your life.
Both of these options effectively erase any possibility of your restored past, that you desire so much, to actually become your realized present. For, this new present, which is actually a restored past, would simply become another and possibly completely different realized present experience. This is what Thomas Wolfe wrote about in his novel, “You Can’t Go Home Again”.
Third, if your life was truly restored to a past that you desired to live again, where would God, faith, prayer, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit fit in? For who needs faith while living in a restored past? Who needs teaching and guiding, directing and edifying in a present that has already been experienced?
A prayer for a restored past is basically a prayer to supplant God’s presence and authority in your life with the peace and comfort of what has been. Effectively eliminating the need to have a relationship with God. Effectively eliminating the need for grace. Effectively placing yourself at the center of your universe. Which means that what you are suffering from, whatever it is that is causing you to hope for some former time in your life to be restored, has become your god.
Restore is too small of a hope for anyone’s life. So, never forget the words of that wonderful theologian Carly Simon – “And stay right here ‘cause these are the good old days!”