By Russ Ramsey
In A Grief Observed, CS Lewis said, “The exact same thing is never taken away and given back.”
As we come to the end of a challenging book about sin, judgment, accountability, exile, suffering, and loss, we turn our attention at last to the hope of future restoration. The Lord promised that He would restore the fortunes of Israel. Their ruins would be repaired. Their famine would be replaced by a future of abundance.
Where are you looking at ruins or emptiness, wishing and hoping for restoration and abundance? And when you think about that, what does that restoration and abundance look like? And where is it found?
You may think about the stability and provision you hope for and imagine it here, in this world, fulfilling all your desires and easing all the pains you have come to know in their place. But that hope can never be perfectly fulfilled here in a world marked by sin and death—that hope is set on the new heavens and new earth when all has been redeemed. In this world, Jesus said, you will have trouble. But take heart. He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Whenever we read stories about God’s restoration, He doesn’t simply mean restoration here. The kind of stability and restoration He promises is more than this world, as it is, can stand. The tough part of this reality is that it usually means we must wait for the restoration our hearts are desperate for right now. But the good news is that when it comes—and it will come—we as believers in Jesus Christ will be able to truly delight in it, forever. We will be restored.
If your faith is in Christ, your future ends in eternal peace and provision in the presence of the Maker and lover of your soul. Forever. A world without end. Whatever has been taken will be given back, only in a new way—a complete way, a perfectly satisfying way, never to be uprooted again. This is what awaits every follower of Christ. Every single one.