On a trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast, I witnessed a beach restoration project. The beach, seriously eroded by high winds and surging waves caused by tropical storms, had all but disappeared. In fact, the coast had washed away to the point that high tide threatened the beachfront properties.
The Atlantic Ocean that stole the sand dumped it in a nearby waterway. In turn, the depth of the waterway, reduced by the accumulating sand, prevented the safe passage of ships and fishing boats.
The restoration process was fascinating to watch. A dredge, situated on the water, sucked sand from the sand bar. The sand was then flushed through connecting pipes to various points along the beach where workers on Bobcats spread it. Little by little, the beach was replenished to its former beauty.
A Seriously Eroded Soul
My soul felt like that beach, seriously eroded.
Following weeks of disruptions to normal life and routines because of Covid-19, I’d slipped away from God, just as the sand had slipped from the beach. Not that noticeable to begin with because I put up a good fight. When the pandemic first struck. I made sure to keep some structure to my days.
But as the days wore on with no clear end in sight, I grew weary. Impatience, worry, irritation, and even anger stalked me. The already loose structure of my days crumbled to the ground, former good habits tumbling into the debris. Stripped of words, I couldn’t write, although I became a Words with Friends champ. The online game was one of the few things I could control.
I hoped the beach would remedy that. But instead of writing, I spent hours contemplating the quiet. This brought on the guilt. Why didn’t I have the perseverance to stick to a regular writing schedule as most of my writing friends did?
I laid out my failures before God. As I lingered in His presence, I heard Him say, “It’s far more important to cultivate a relationship with Me than it is to write.” A peace swept over me, and I found the remedy needed to write again.
As I watched the glorious sand shoot out of those pipes, bringing the beach back to life, I realized God was restoring me, too.
“He restores my soul” Psalm 23:3.
The beautiful words of Psalm 23 indicate three components of restoration: rest, reflection, and replenishment. Three gifts from God always available if we accept them. According to one old testament dictionary, restore suggests a “movement back to the point of departure.”
That’s where the sand was headed with the help of the dredge, back to its original point. That definition applied to me too. God brought me back to my point of departure before the pandemic: firmly in His presence.
God was restoring me before I knew I needed it. He led me to a time of rest. He gave me hope through a restoration of His creation. And He provided me the stillness to feel His presence and hear His voice as I reflected on His work in my life.
Rest assured, God always welcomes your return. He desires to bring you back to Him, no matter how far you’ve strayed. Hear His promise in Hosea 14:4:
“I will heal their waywardness and love them freely for my anger has turned away from them.”God brought me back to my point of departure before the pandemic: firmly in His presence. Click To Tweet