The God Who Restores

The photo doesn’t do justice to the wonder of God’s goodness that surrounded me while filling a water tank in the south pasture this past week. As the water ran into the 100-gallon trough, I looked up from my task and noticed shoots of green grass emerging from the bald spot under the large oak tree. I smiled, remembering how I had placed a bale of hay there this past winter.

It isn’t strange to see grass sprouting up where hay had once been but given the year of drought we have been suffering through, seeing anything green was a treat. Realizing the grass was growing where grass seldom does, I smiled at seeing some green and resumed my chore—knowing the fresh growth wouldn’t last long. That’s when I felt the nudge in my spirit to “look around”. Turning my head to the right, the sea of green laying in front of me was overwhelming. My pasture was green again! There were signs of growth and life. It didn’t take long for the words of Exodus 15:25-26 to come to the forefront of my mind.

“There He made a statute and an ordinance for them,
and there He tested them, and said, “If you diligently
heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is
right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and
keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases
on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am
the Lord who heals you.”
(Exodus 15:25-26, NKJV)

Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals or the God who restores. While I didn’t make an altar near the water trough, I did thank God again for His restoring rain of the past week. The three inches He blessed us with won’t end this year’s drought, but it was enough to breathe life back into my pastures. God reminded me in vivid color of His promise in 1 Peter 5:10, that while we might suffer for a little while, He will restore us. What I realized was how God was restoring my soul as much as He was the land.

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I never lost faith that God will see our Cross Dubya ranch through this drought. God showed me this day how my soul was getting as dry as the cracked ground beneath my feet. Grateful for His blessing of rain, I was so consumed with the added chores of battling this extra hot summer, I hadn’t even noticed the green up happening before me. In my soul, my spirit was still dry, brown, and showing little signs of life. With the splash of color He added to my landscape, God was restoring my joy; He was refilling my cup.

Leaning on the fence, I basked in the glory of His love as He refilled me with peace, joy, and hope. As a tear of gratitude rolled down my cheek, I knew I was nearing the full tank mark. Is God preparing me for the next challenge? He always does when I allow Him to. Will I face it with a stronger faith, increased hope in His word, and less trepidation and worry? I pray so.

My prayer for you this week is that you make a few moments to get away to that secret place where you commune best with the Father. There, ask Him to restore whatever in you that needs refilling, so you too are ready to take that next step in your journey in faith.

God’s blessings,

 

60 thoughts on “The God Who Restores

  1. Funny how we complain about something from each season. Yet every season is required for the next to appear. Summer in Oregon is nothing like at your ranch yet as I age, I do not do “heat” as well as I use to, yet I know it has its reasons. Then the rain comes and so happy you finally got the needed rain. I love the rain, so I do not mind my Oregon rain but too little rain or too much rain does damage. Your drought vs the floods in Kentucky. We will never understand Gods reasons but faith and trust is what He requires us to show in times of too much or too little. I smiled with you as you noticed the green grasses growing on your ranch after a much-needed rain.

    1. Very true Ms. Teresa. While we need both sun and rain to make the crops grow, too much or too little of either one results in a poor harvest. Whether crops or life, maintaining the right balance is key to success. Thank you for all your prayers and kindness ma’am. Our season of drought is far from over, and I suspect the worst is yet to come, but our faith ensures that we will “weather the coming storm”, and with the help and prayers of friends like you, we’ll be stronger in doing so.

  2. I praise the Lord with you for the rain and restoration of your pastures. I am sure your cattle love it too! What a great lesson to us about restoring our parched souls. Thanks for sharing, J.D.

  3. Wise words to ponder this morning. I too have felt the patch drought in my soul after a long period of trials. But as I look around I see answers to my prayers for restoration. He is all that I need. May I be ready for what’s up ahead. I pray so.

    1. I join you in those prayers Ms. Sharon. I believe that each successful trial we endure, we grow stronger in preparation for the next one. The stronger we grow in our faith, the more Satan attacks and God prepares. Satan will attack with more fervor in an attempt to derail, but God will be there with us as He stretches us further than ever before to ensure we are ready for the coming trial.

  4. Leaning on the fence, I basked in the glory of His love as He refilled me with peace, joy, and hope.

    We invested some time near that fence and the tears you produced created a sympathetic response of my own. God’s glory be magnified, Mr. J.D.

  5. His lovingkindness never ceases to amaze and enliven me! He is the God of restoration. He makes all things new and beautiful. Thankful for you insights. Praying continued blessings for you and yours.

    1. Thank YOU Ms. Diana. We country folk see it more tangibly in our lives perhaps, but God is God, and He is always the same no matter our location. As long as we live “close to Him”, then we are assured of His mercy and grace to sustain and restore us.

  6. Praise God for the greening on the Cross Dubya! And especially for the refreshing in your soul and spirit. I pray you continue to get ample rain.
    Answering your question: Father God refreshed me Sunday night at our church Family Praise night. Pastor asked us to lay our troubles down at the alter. My thoughts– I don’t have a major problem at the moment. Then Holy Spirit reminded me of my constant anxiety over the wellbeing of each one of my family members– children and grandchildren. Much is going on in each life.
    I said, “Okay, Lord, I’m laying it down.” So as the praises went up, I laid it all down. I sensed great relief and each day since have needed to reminded myself that I left that anxiety at the alter. Joy unspeakable.
    Thank you for your encouraging post.

    1. Oh, how I loved reading this Ms. Connie. I still struggle with laying it down and then going back later and picking it up while saying, “Let me work on it just a little bit more God.” I’m certain He shakes His head at me, but like the good, good Father He is, He allows me to struggle until I learn to “let go and let God” better. 🙂

  7. Thanks J.D., for our Lord Jesus Christ is Lord over all including the seasons, including drought and rain and amen. So glad for each of those shoots of grass and how it swells in you too and amen

    1. Thank you sir. As I stood there praising God for His restoration work, I also thanked Him for the many brothers and sisters who stand with me as I face the trials of this life. Knowing I am never alone, for God is always with me, and knowing I have my “Family of Faith” to lean upon also is a double-blessing.

  8. I never cease to be amazed at our Gracious and Merciful God. The Dallas area and our town, about 25 miles southeast, had numerous inches of rain and flooding last Monday. Today as I gaze out over the neighbor’s grassy lawns that were all brown last Monday…they are as green as mine. Throughout the drought I worried, worked, watered and prayed to keep things alive. This morning as I looked the Holy Spirit whispered…”all the worry, work and watering were for naught. God is the Creator and Sustainer and Caretaker of His earth and you get to pay a huge water bill.” Oh me of little faith! Father, help me learn…and thank you for the precious rain.

    1. I hear ya Ms. DiAne. I’m always amazed at no matter how many inches of “city water” (treated, pasteurized, homogenized, etc. 🙂 ) we pour on our gardens and flowers, they only really thrive when God pours out His rain upon them. All total, we only got three inches here, but I was thanking God for every drop of it. I suspect your area is still considered a drought area also as all the runoff rain that overwhelmed the infrastructure has long since dried up. With the few inches we got, I could see some of the cracks in the ground narrow and a few puddles for almost a full day.

  9. J.D., I hope you always share your lessons as they are just beautiful. Seeing patches of green in our small yard brought the same truths to my heart. It is amazing how God waters our dry and parched souls. He truly sustains us and brings growth, even when we are yet unaware. This >> “What I realized was how God was restoring my soul as much as He was the land.” Amen!

    1. So very true Ms. Joanne. I sometimes wonder of nature realizes how dry and parched it is better than our souls. Is that our sinful human pride that prevents us from recognizing our need for God’s restoration?

  10. I thank the Lord for the rain there and pray you get more. the greening up reminds me of that verse about the “times of refreshing.” I’m thankful for the water of God’s Word that restores us when we’re parched.

  11. We got a little over 2 inches of rain over the last few days. Although I don’t have to deal with drought and a ranch, I did feel the refreshment in my soul as you described so well. Thanks for sharing and blessing us with your inspiring stories.

  12. Praying God will restore me to the fullness He desires me to have, J. D., as I’m still having bouts of the blues here and there when they truly aren’t justified. I have so much to be grateful for!
    By the way, I will resume blogging this Friday. Looking forward to seeing you there!
    Blessings!

  13. I am thankful the rain came. Some places have none and other places have too much. We’ve had weeks of rain on and off here in the Lowcountry. The sun finally came out today. I am thanking God for His blessings and the reminder of His love for us. Have a blessed week! 🙂

    1. I’m with you Ms. Mimi. Feeling God’s presence and seeing His love all around me in His natural world is a constant reminder that He is still in control and on His throne. A comforting knowledge indeed ma’am.

    1. Amen Ms. Marilyn. We’ve all experienced His restoration in our lives at times, haven’t we ma’am. I love knowing that He is there for all of us. God’s blessings precious sister.

  14. Oh my goodness. I wrote about a “nearing a full tank mark” this week too. That’s exactly what it felt like to me – such a precious moment. I want more of it!

    Thank you, J.D.

    1. You and me both Ms. Candyce. It’s been amazing to read not only your post, but so many others this week who spoke about resting in God, His restoration and recovery when we seek His presence. Amen my friend. Let us live our lives overflowing in His mercy, goodness, and love.

  15. God’s Word says that He can restore what the locusts have eaten. Is there anything beyond God’s restoration?

    The same is true spiritually. No matter how dry, wretched, or defeated we may feel, God can make the withered grass of our souls fresh and green again

  16. You mention that God will restore if we let Him…how true that is, my friend. So many times we seek to do it ourselves or we give up, but God is there–waiting for us to seek Him with all our heart. Your faithfulness and God’s care got you through these last two months of heat and drought. You are a wonderful example for us. Thank you for sharing your faith through your writing, thus sharing God’s trustworthiness and love with us.

    1. Thank you Ms. Katherine. I can remember the “drought” you went through just a few short years ago ma’am, and when I think about what you and so many of my other friends in faith have overcome, I consider my challenges to be miniscule in comparison. As I was praising God out there that morning, my mind drifted to the Helen Keller quote, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” and thanked God for reminding me that this momentary light affliction is but preparation (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

  17. God is all about restoration. As He restored your brown pastures to green, so He restores our souls with heavenly rains of the Holy Spirit. Psalm 23 leaps out to me, rich with His promises of peace, goodness, and mercy. Be blessed, brother J.D.

    1. Amen dear sister. Psalm 23 stands out in my heart for so many reasons. Most of all because I am learning to rely on my Shepherd more with each passing year as He prepares me for eternity in His presence. Sometimes, I can hardly wait.

  18. Beautiful analogy as always! Thankful the Lord restores our joy and fills our cup. Not only does He fill our cup but often overflows it. Your stories from the ranch lend so well to spiritual lessons. But that’s how it should be–right where we are, the Lord uses to speak to us.

  19. Such an important reminder that there are always green growth spots around us if we have spiritual eyes to see. Thank you, j.D.!

  20. I’ve been praying that all of Texas would get much-needed rain and was so thankful when some fell! It’s so beautiful to know that God restores us in whatever way we need, just as He restored life to your ranch. And thank you for the reminder that we need to “make” time to get away to our special place for being with God — otherwise life can take over and there’s no time for us to “take” for Him. Praying that more blessings will fall on the Cross Dubya!

    1. Thank you so much Ms. Leigh. Know please how much your, and others’, prayers have meant to my family. Knowing we weren’t alone in petitioning heaven has made our journey easier ma’am.

  21. Thank you for your prayer for us, J.D. Lately I’m learning in a fresh, new way about running to that place of shelter in God for restoration. I’m always encouraged by the wisdom you share. Thank you!

    1. What an honor it is to pray for those who pray with and for me Ms. Annie. I’m often humbled when I think of so many of my writing and reading friends who wouldn’t know me on the street, yet lift me up before God each day. I pray daily that God lead me to say or do something that help others as much as He sends friends like you to help me. God’s blessings gentle friend.

  22. J.D., I rejoice with you in this restoration! In my own life I seem to appreciate God’s provision more after I’ve gone without something I’d previously taken for granted. After limping with a torn meniscus, I rejoice when my knees cooperate without any hitch. Remembering these restorations helps us through the next test. Thanks for sharing your good news!

    1. They sure do Ms. Debbie. My Ms. Diane and I laugh about our “roadmaps”, the trail of scars on our body that tells a part of the journey of our lives. That scar there? Cancer battled but didn’t win. Those two scars? Well, I was younger and not as wise then. The battle scars of our body serve as reminders of our healing and restoration. Sometimes things had to be removed from our life. Other times, some things (like knee joints) needed replacing. Something I’m learning to remember about folks though is that we can’t see those emotional scars of battles we’ve fought and wounds that have been inflicted upon our soul. God can and does though, and He is in business of regeneration and renewing isn’t He my friend?

  23. First, let me apologize for my tardy response. I can’t seem to catch up with myself and duties never cease to call, with an abundance of late.
    When I think of restoration, I am reminded of the verse in Psalm 23: “He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” How often has the Lord had to restore my soul when I get weary, stressed, overloaded, discouraged, or just plain dry. Time and again I realize my need to drink from His well of living water. Refreshment awaits. Having an eternal perspective helps get me through.
    I’m so happy for your ranch’s “reawakening.” I tried to see beyond the hardships but you had to live it beyond them.

    1. 🙂 No worries Ms. Karen. I live in a perpetual state of “late.” To comment on your statement, “How often has the Lord…”, it seems almost daily I come to Him asking for restoration and refilling. Too many days, it seems I forget to go to the well for a drink of living water until I find myself parched, dry, and arid. That’s when, like my ground in the sweltering summer, those “cracks” start appearing. So glad He is always ready to fill me when I earnestly seek Him. God’s blessings ma’am.

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