"... O my soul, bless GOD, don't forget a single blessing! He forgives your sins - every one. He heals your diseases - every one. He redeems you from hell - saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy - a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness - beauty eternal. He renews your youth - you're always young in his presence. GOD makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet" Psalm 103:1-5 The Message Bible
One morning last winter, we became aware of a loud grinding noise after breakfast. Looking out of the window, we saw a large red tractor with some sort of attachment, like a large mower and flail, cutting down the undergrowth on the steep hillside opposite.
For thirty years we have enjoyed the view from our living room. The natural covering in buddleia, gorse and hawthorn was a delight, besides providing a natural habitat for the abundant wildlife.
Before our eyes, the whole hillside was being scalped, with all the debris just left to rot. A phone call revealed that the new landowner just "wanted to see what he'd bought!" The owner can do what he likes to his land within the law, it's not our responsibility. However his thoughtless and untimely action had caused a spoiling and a desecration of God's beautiful creation.
Over the last nine months, while it has lain fallow and untouched by man, a natural regeneration has been going on. The heavy unseasonable rainfall this summer resulted in rapid new growth. The hillside now appears lush and green. Ferns and gorse are pushing through and flowers we had never seen before are shining across at us. Soon the wildlife will start to return. God's creative restoration process is under way.
Similarly, our lives can be spoiled by the thoughtless actions of others, wrong handling or abuse, or even our own behaviour patterns and addictions. Life's hurts can damage us, but when we turn to God and allow Jesus into our lives, a restoration process begins. When we surrender to God and put our lives into His loving hands and let Him have His way with us, we experience new growth. We realise the benefits and blessings of belonging to God's family.