By Carmela Monk Crawford, Esq
I remember a towering, kind, and genteel law professor who taught us how to craft our arguments to the jury in order to collect monetary damages on behalf of injured clients. Before many states instituted the current monetary limits on what an injured person could recover in court, lawyers like him appealed to personal outrage and the great sympathy of the jury. Juries, moved by these arguments, would often award huge sums to the victims or families of the victims to “make them whole again.”
Our professor was the opposite of the highly polished, fast-talking personal injury lawyers you see on television. No, his words were measured, his methods were well reasoned, and his voice was trustworthy.
“How much would that be worth to you?” he would ask members of the jury when a worker whose spouse and five children were dependent on him had died on the job through some negligent act of the company. In the case of a dedicated mother who had lost a limb or was now unable to walk and struggled to relearn daily routines, the same question: “How much would that be worth to you?”
The Creator-God, like the law in those cases, seeks resto- ration. In the case of the law, it seeks to make an injured per- son whole again. It’s the same with God. This gulf, this breach between us because of sin and the work of the enemy—this injury—is and has been a tremendously painful experience. How much would restoration of things to the way they were intended be worth to Him? Ask Him. Look at what it cost to bring everything back—it cost His Son.
God wants you to be in good health. He wants you to be at peace. He wants you to be in communication, on an up-close and personal level with Him. He wants it all to be the way He thought of it millennia ago. What would it take to restore that? How expensive would that be to repair that breach?
It was very expensive, and God paid the damages Himself. The work of restoration is important to God, and one can observe His attention to this detail.
“God’s healing power runs all through nature. If a tree is cut, if a human being is wounded or breaks a bone, nature begins at once to repair the injury. Even before the need exists, the heal- ing agencies are in readiness; and as soon as a part is wounded, every energy is bent to the work of restoration. So it is in the spiritual realm. Before sin created the need, God had provided the remedy. Every soul that yields to temptation is wounded, bruised, by the adversary; but whenever there is sin, there is the Savior. It is Christ’s work ‘to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, . . . to set at liberty them that are bruised’ (Luke 4:18)” (Ellen G. White, Education, p. 113).
Likewise, as the apostle Paul wrote, the way we treat one another has to be with restoration in mind: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Galatians 6:1-3).
What prevents us from pushing the reset button now? Go back and do it right. Act as if you have a reset button. Do the conversation over. Approach the estranged relative, start the conversation, a new conversation again, and move forward. Walk out of the door on a new journey to health and fitness as if you had the years back that you wasted in front of the TV. Sit down at the easel, the piano, the guitar, with the microphone and go to work, as if you pushed a button somewhere. Live the abundant life God designed for you now.
Restoration is the theme of God’s work for you. He longs to bring us back to the original plan. He is looking forward to re- creating the heavens and the earth. He wants the relationship He had originally intended for us. Reset is what He does.