A friend had a classic car in his garage that he wanted to restore. He asked me to examine his car and judge what needed to be done to restore the car to factory or better condition. As I examined the car I noticed it had been in an accident and wrongly repaired, there was plenty of rust, suspension was worn out, engine didn’t run, the paint was chipped and faded, gauges didn’t work, seats were torn, and it needed a new set of shoes.
Nothing I pointed out that day was a surprise to my friend. He wanted to know if it was worth restoring. My answer to him was depends on how much you value the car. Can it be restored, he asked. Yes, but it won’t be cheap I told him. ‘I love this car,’ he said. ‘It was my car in high school. I want to restore it, and I want you to do the work.’ I agreed to restore the car but it was going to be costly and timely to restore this damaged classic to better than factory condition.
The purpose of judging my friends car was to identify what needed to be done to restore this worn out classic to its previous beauty. The decision to restore was based upon the love my friend had for the car and its value to him. The cost to restore would be expensive, and it would take months to restore, but the cost was all worth it to him. For my friend, the only option acceptable to him was to restore this car he loves.
God’s judgment is to identify our flaws — NOT to condemn us to destruction, but to identify what he needs to do to restore us to our created glory. He has determined that you’re worth restoring, no matter the cost to him or how long it takes. Restoration is the only acceptable option to God.
Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:14
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10