God Restores

silhouette of person standing near camping tent

It was a prayer meeting night: Wednesday. Only a very few of the large church family were in attendance. The few members were asked to give a special offering. A family had lost their home. A fire had destroyed everything they possessed.

I didn’t know the family, because I was a fairly new member. But I looked into my purse to find something to share. There was only a $20 dollar bill. I knew I needed to give something. But I didn’t want to make a fuss about getting change. Besides, I’d rather not draw any attention to the amount I would give. I had a decision to make.

Impressed to give it all, I rolled the bill so that you couldn’t see the amount. Quietly, so as not to draw any attention, I slid the bill into the offering plate. Giving $20 was a lot of money to me at the time; and I didn’t want to give the impression that I had a lot of money or that I was being showy. I kept my eyes downcast as I gave, so I can’t be sure if anyone noticed.

Only three days later, I was back at church for Sabbath services. Afterward, a smaller group met downstairs to receive cards with the names and addresses of Bible students, who had completed a course of study by mail. While I waited for the meeting to begin, I felt a hand on my left shoulder. I looked into a fairly familiar face, but not someone I knew beyond the normal casual greetings at church meetings.

She smiled and beckoned me to get up and step outside with her. Once into the hallway, she decided we should step into the empty meeting room next door. We did. She came quite close to me, took my hand, and looked very directly into my eyes. I didn’t know what to expect. But I knew it must be important and very private.

I waited for her to speak.

She had something hidden in her hand. She placed the something into my hand and folded my fingers over it, as she whispered, “I was impressed to give this to you.” She smiled, but it was clear. She was serious. She pressed my fingers so that my fisted hand would remain tightly closed. With that, she left. I thanked her and returned to my seat. Beyond that, I couldn’t speak. I was so amazed.

I knew it was money, but I was too timid to look into my own hand. It was all so very secret, it seemed. I sat there for awhile, actually until the suspense took over or that I felt it was okay to look. Gently, I unfolded the bill only enough to see how much this very caring-hearted woman had shared with me.

I was stunned. The memory still brings tears to my eyes and touches my heart. Forty-five years later even now, I can assure you that you cannot beat God’s giving. Just as I rolled up a $20 bill and quietly gave it to help a family in need, a $20 bill was rolled up and quietly pressed into my hand–just three days later.

Yes. I gave, and to me was given, just as Luke described it. “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:36 KJV).

Never question God. Just believe what He makes clear to you by His Word, even when it makes no sense to anyone else. Just do what He tells you to do, even when logic tells you it could only do you harm. Now and ultimately, God is in control. In God’s own time, He will restore. Remember the story of Job. He ended up with far more than he lost. Maybe that is at least one of the reasons this song “God Restores” is one of my all-time favorites. It’s because I’m a living testimony that God restores.

Interestingly, I read a group text today that read this way: “March 1, 2023, Day 60 of 365. This is the month you have been waiting for. God is bringing you uncommon restoration. He is giving you a reason to smile and soar in places where you were once ashamed and defeated. Expect God to meet you at every point of need – healing, providing, guiding, and leading you.”

I feel expectant. I trust Him. And I believe His Word. “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied” (Psalm 37:19 KJV). And this: “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more” (Isaiah 54:4 KJV).

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