This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel up to Oregon with a team from Bethel, where we ministered to the people of the city of Bend, as well as met with local churches. It was an amazing trip, full of joy, healing and restoration. In the days leading up to the trip, I kept hearing God saying over and over that He was bringing restoration to the people of that city. Because God is a God of restoration. You don’t have to look too deep into the Bible to find a story of God bringing restoration to His people, it’s just in His nature to do that.
God has been doing some incredible things in my life, especially in the days leading up to my Oregon adventure. Last Wednesday I felt God was telling me to go for a walk with Him down to the river. I had just seen some postings on Facebook from people I know that were against God and against the existence of God. As I was walking down to the river, my heart felt burdened with this and I began to ask the Lord what was going on. I felt like God was giving me insight into how He feels when those He dearly loves reject Him and choose to turn from Him. I continued to walk down the path to the river, with a heart broken for those who have turned from God, and with tears rolling down my face.
God’s desire is to bring restoration to all people, even those who reject and deny His existence.
As I walked along the riverside that day, God was showing me something. He was breaking my heart for what breaks His, and it has since filled me with such compassion for those who are not in relationship with Him. We were not meant to live in isolation, or with hurt from past life choices weighing us down. God is so good, and He soon replaced these burdens I was feeling with joy, and I began smiling and laughing as I continued to walk. God never leaves us in a place of sorrow or pain; if we are continually experiencing that in our lives, then perhaps we are not allowing God in and we are blocking Him from bringing restoration into our lives.
I saw many incredible sights during my weekend in Oregon, from God restoring people’s physical bodies, to entire families experiencing God’s love and promises for their future. I watched in utter adoration of the Lord as we spoke life into a family who were experiencing difficult situations and were even at the point of turning from the Lord altogether. I watched as the husband broke down, with his wife by his side to bring him comfort. God brought restoration to this family in such a powerful yet gentle way. There is nothing as amazing in life as seeing the God of the universe step down and comfort those whom He loves.
God’s desire is to restore to us those things that have been taken from us. The devil would love for us to remain broken, hurt, lonely or lost as a result of past choices in our lives, but that is never God’s plan for us. We spent some time in a homeless shelter, where I had the chance to speak to a man in his late 50’s. I listened intently as he explained to me the transformation he has seen in his life over the last few years since he allowed God into his life and has since then been off drugs and alcohol and is even planning on attending evening classes at a local church where he will learn more about God’s love for him. Because God is a God of restoration.
My prayer is that you may take heart from this entry, that you may allow God to move within you, to mend any brokenness you have felt in your life, and to be fully restored to the life God has planned for you.