‘Comfort’ Meditations No.27: Restored
Jn 21:15 “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
I feel drawn back to those of us who feel we are less than we could be, sometimes because we consider in the past we blew it so badly, that there is no longer any hope for us today or in the future (I’m a candidate for this description). Peter has to be our model of Jesus’ restoration work. He takes a leader who has blown it about as badly as it can be and picks him up and restores him to leadership. Amazing. But there is a challenge here beyond bringing comfort to just one man through restoring him; it is the call to have this sort of perspective for everyone. Can we make our goal, comforting and restoring for every damaged, broken and fallen life we encounter, can we at least try?
But then there is another aspect to all of this. So often, and I have done it at least twice now, we focus on overcoming the past negatives but in so doing, our eagerness to heal up the past (a good aspiration!) means we miss or forget a bigger issue on God’s agenda. So take Peter’s restoration as an example.
We focus on Jesus forgiving him (which IS vitally important) but there is an even bigger issue evident here: what Jesus wants Peter to do and to become. Basically he tells him to look after his flock – the church, to become its primary leader. Restoring Peter is the next step to getting Peter moving into his primary destiny here on earth at least.
And so it is with you and me. Yes, Jesus wants to comfort us, to restore us so that past failures are properly resolved by the confession-forgiveness-cleansing equation we’ve considered recently, but the bigger issue as far as Jesus and his kingdom is concerned, is getting us to a place where we are reinstated into a place of obedience and availability to more fully flow in God’s purposes. Now of course the ‘sin thing’, still residual in us, blinds us to the wonder of what this means. We’re going to have to wait for heaven for this to be fully realized BUT imagine there the ‘sin thing’ I described being either utterly removed or the presence of God being so great that we no longer have any desire to ‘do our own thing’ and get it wrong. Imagine we are so bathed in God’s loving presence and so aware of HIS every desire – which, remember is always utterly perfect – that all we are aware of is what is right – the right thing to do next, say next, think next. But it gets more amazing. When we do or say what is right, as we respond to His wonderful presence, knowing what is the perfect thing to say or do, we will have joy, pleasure at being in perfect harmony with God and His creation, we will have joy, pleasure, delight in having become the ultimate goal of God’s plan from the beginning, children in perfect harmony with their loving heavenly Father. Heaven, our destiny!