By Joe Torosian
Dave Bowman: You see, something’s going to happen.
Dr. Floyd: What? What’s going to happen?
Dave Bowman: Something wonderful.
—2010: The Year We Make Contact
As believers, we’re familiar with the story arc.
Creation, Fall, Redemption…God created, Man fell, and Christ redeemed us with his work on the cross and resurrection.
The fourth aspect we neglect, too often, is Restoration. The Bible begins in the Garden and essentially takes us back there in Revelation 22. We are restored back into the relationship God intended us to have with him.
We get Creation, we argue for Creation, and are in awe of Creation when we see a snowy mountain, a beautiful sunset, or sunrise.
Our human nature might not like being reminded of the Fall, but we see the Fall’s results all around us as we live in this Creation. Man’s failure to be obedient to the Lord is in constant presentation, so there is no forgetting.
Redemption is beautiful because it gives us hope. Redemption is perfect love enabled and lavished onto us. Redemption brings us back into the presence of God and the belief that all things are possible.
Creation happened. The Fall happened. Redemption happens when we seek it. Restoration? Restoration is happening all around us. We are in the midst (in medias res) of Restoration.
Creation we know about, the Fall we know about, Redemption we’ve joyfully experienced, but the work of Restoration continues in our life and all our life.
We forget this, or we willfully fail to acknowledge it, because Restoration requires us to move continually forward. Old Youth Pastor analogy—“This is why we sing about a river of life instead of a lake of strife. A river continues to move.”
We’re overwhelmed, we’re overcome, we’re overdrawn, overexposed, we’re over everything, and we want to put our head down and be left alone. We want life and its storms to pass us.
Except for us, as believers, it doesn’t work that way. We are God’s imagers, his representatives on earth. We are a vital part of this story, this Restoration, that continues on.
Frodo and Sam didn’t get to turn back from Mount Doom. If they did, their world perishes. Abraham Lincoln, while dealing with all the madness of a violent civil war, the press, and his own party working against him, never got to put his head down and hope things would pass. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim pressed on.
The hardest parts were in the middle of those stories.
We are in the middle of God’s story, our Restoration. It is critical we remember this.
Many months ago, when praying for my church, I was approached about holding a revival service at Burbank Faith. In the middle of COVID, in the middle of lockdown, in the middle of riots, in the middle of the madness of election season, it made no sense. It would be better to put our heads down and let the storms pass.
But Restoration, the continuation of the story that we are all part of, declared that revival made sense. Again, we need to recognize that we are vital to the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are part of the efforts and plans to reclaim all the kingdoms of this world from the darkness that holds them.
We were the ones The Great Commission was given to.
You may or may not be Lord of the Rings people but there is a line given to Frodo (the lead character) when he is weary and fearful of what is in front of him.
“This task was appointed to you (Frodo), and if you do not find a way, no one will.”—Galadriel.
In different terminology, it is Paul’s line about “pressing on.”
We press on because we are part of this Restoration story. And revival is the key to helping us remember.
We settled on having a revival service in August. At that time, we had a speaker and worship leaders. Since the announcement, we have lost the worship leader. I, as many of you know, was laid low for a month with a blocked artery. We lost our revival speaker. And most tragic of all, my Associate Pastor, Bill Leone, and his wife Diane, lost a daughter.
We’ve prayed and have decided to continue on. We’re putting together worship teams, and Dr. Larry Garman has agreed to come and share with us.
Why press on? Because we need revival, to remind us of our place in God’s ultimate and beautiful plan to restore us, our world, to what we were intended to be.
I feel like Dr. Floyd from the quote at the top.
“What’s going to happen?”
And I hear the Holy Spirit’s voice say, “Something wonderful.”
Joe T. can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Followed on Twitter & Instagram at: @joet13b