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At Lighthouse Family Retreat, we have four truths that guide our ministry to families living through childhood cancer: rest, joy, restoration, and hope. Leading up to our summer retreat season, we want to share the importance each of these plays in our lives, and how to overcome the obstacles and challenges to embracing them. Today on the blog, we’re talking about Restoration.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

~2 Corinthians 13:11

In a household with three boys, things get broken. Sometimes things get broken in an immediate and obvious way—a ball goes through a window, a device screen gets stepped on, furniture gets broken because it is being used as a piece of gymnastics equipment. But sometimes things get broken in gradual and subtle ways—cabinet doors eventually fall apart from rough use over time, A/C goes out because the filters weren’t changed, drains back up because… three boys, and the list goes on.

Just like the stuff in a house can get broken, so can the people inside the house. When we are faced with difficulties in life that challenge our limits, a lot of things can get broken along the way. It’s no one’s intention, but when all our attention is focused on overcoming a single obstacle like cancer, other things that need our attention can get overlooked. After some time has passed, we may come to realize these things have become broken. Our spirit, dreams, hope, faith, will, and relationships are all fragile and can become strained and even break under the weight of life.

The good news is our God is a God of redemption, reconciliation, and restoration! His desire is to see broken things put back together. In fact, this is the theme that ties all of Scripture together. So, you can have confidence God sees you—whatever struggles you are facing—and know that He wants to restore things you might say are broken in your life. And, He wants to restore you.

He also wants to restore your relationships. We were made for relationship, and God wants you to have great relationships with one another. The verse above says we should “strive” for restoration. These areas of life that are broken will need some attention if they are to be restored. The efforts we take towards the restoration of our health, our hope, our spirit, and our relationships are invaluable, not just to ourselves but for those around us.

When we think of restoration, we should think of it as a process. Anyone who restores furniture, cars, or houses knows that restoration doesn’t happen overnight. It happens a bit at a time. In fact, most of the time the differences in the project aren’t immediately noticeable, but after weeks and months of hard work, the transformation can be awe-inspiring. People will rave, “I didn’t know this [car, house, or piece of furniture] could ever look this amazing!” Every little step of the work was making a difference, even if it was not immediately recognized. I am guessing anyone involved in the art of restoration would resonate with the words of Paul when he says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) May it be so in your life!

Are there areas in your life where you are looking for God to do His work of restoration? While we may not know exactly what is going on in your world, we are praying with confidence you can begin to experience God’s restoration, and that days, weeks, and maybe even months down the road, you and others will look back and say, “God, you have outdone yourself! I didn’t know things could be put back together in such a beautiful way!”

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