WEEK THREE: RENOVATION
Psalm 23 (NRSV)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.
As you may have guessed, HGTV and DIY are regularly part of our evening as we unwind at the end of the day! We enjoy seeing all types of home renovations, but historical home restoration is especially interesting. These once-glorious homes have been neglected, damaged, and weathered for some time. But in order to make them livable and safe again, the restoration has to take into account the style, character, and craftsmanship of the original era.
As we continue on our own spiritual renovation, our word for today is restore. Merriam Webster defines restore as “to put something back into its original state, or to bring back into use.” Restoring historical homes returns them to their original state as much as possible, maintaining the integrity of their character, charm, history and style, while making them usable and livable.
Psalm 23 is a perfect passage for us, with its beautiful imagery describing how God is the loving shepherd who restores our souls. Our souls are beautiful, but they can also be neglected by our lack of time or presence, damaged by our wounds and burdens, or weathered by our fading dreams and hopes.
How do we restore our souls when they are weary and worn? Let’s compare the process with a restoration of a home.
~Restoration takes time and patience. Our spirits didn’t decline and decay overnight. We will need to take some time to renew and restore what has been undone.
~Restoration takes effort. Just like the damages of houses, the wounds of our souls won’t repair themselves, but only continue to worsen if left on their own.
~Restoration takes expert craftsmanship. God is the One who thoroughly understands how to renew and repair the integrity of our character.
~Restoration takes quality work. Using quick or simple fixes only provides temporary restoration and in the end devalues the home or diminishes the soul.
~Restoration takes history into account. Restoration works best when our complete story is understood and honored. Only God knows us so well!
God makes us lie down in green pastures. What would you enjoy doing to feel that same respite?
God leads us beside still waters. Where are your places of stillness? Where do you find refreshment?
The rest of the psalm describes God as our shepherd… One who provides all we need… One who accompanies us and comforts us in all times of life… One who anoints and heals… One who shares only mercy and goodness… and One who assures us of an eternal home. The more time we spend with God- opening our hearts, resting in God’s presence, inviting God’s restoration- our weary, worn and wounded souls will be returned to health, vigor, and joy!
God, our Shepherd and our Craftsman,
You have blessed our souls with your presence, making them vessels of beauty, inspiration and peace. But we have neglected them, often and unintentionally. We are sorry for the ways we have not tended our souls or allowed your presence to bless. Please restore us today. Guide us to do our part to give you time and space to do so. Amen.