You may recognise this smile. It featured in the book, Postcards From Heaven, when the front tooth was missing, and now 3 years on it’s full of big teeth, and the somewhat irresponsible owner of a (very-expensive-to-replace) removable palate-expander-thingy.
We were having a fantastic day at the Zoo and it wasn’t until we were just about to feed a magnificent giraffe that the gorgeous Chaos-Generator turned and grinned at me, revealing the tell-tale lack of wire.
“Where’s your brace?!” I yelled, “and why isn’t it in your mouth?”…
Fellow parents of wonky-toothed children may recognise the scene that followed. After an intensive hunt through bags and pockets and some frustrated remonstrations, I left the kids with their Grandma and unenthusiastically retraced my steps around the Zoo wondering where on earth she might have taken it out and dropped it.
After unsuccessful hunts around the ice-cream stand and the Gopher viewing area, eventually I returned to the picnic area where we’d had lunch, more than an hour after we had left it. The picnic table we had sat at was empty, and I hunted on and around it and the bin where I’d thrown the empty crisp bags, but the floor was covered in a thick layer of bark chippings and I imagine several families had used the table since we had. There really was no chance of finding a 4cm wide piece of see-through plastic and wire.
The tiny bit of hope I had left drained away as I sat down at the table, convinced that we would never see it again.
And then I looked down, and there it was, just next to my foot.
I’m not sure now whether it had been there all along, or whether God had moved it there. But as I picked it up, flooded with relief, I heard God whisper “I am a God who restores”.
“I am the God who restores”
It’s funny because I would have said I knew God as Restorer well already, and I do, but in the sense of a restorer of a master painting – someone who comes in and painstakingly cleans something up and carefully repairs damage! But obviously I only had part of the picture…
When I looked it up, the first definition of restore that I found was ‘to give back or return’.
Part of what God longs to do as our great Restorer is to return to us things that have been taken away, things that feel forever-lost.
Perhaps there are parts of your heart, your confidence, your strength, your faith or your hope that feel as though they have been taken away and are gone. There are times in life when difficult things happen to us and something good that we had is taken away; we make a mistake and some part of us is lost. If that sounds familiar, hear this:
Our God is the God who restores.