I took my car to the auto repair shop in Budapest to have an assessment. The body had several rust spots, and I knew that, left unattended, much damage could occur. Through an interpreter, I was asked the question, "Would you like your car fixed or restored?" Further explanation of the question revealed a quick fix would take little time, effort or money, but the risk was great that the rust would return. On the other hand, complete restoration would require a larger investment. Since I was planning to keep the car for awhile, I chose restoration and was very satisfied.
Restoration is a concept with which each of us can identify. When we are physically ill, we yearn to be restored to health. When we are emotionally discouraged, we long to be restored to joy. The process from brokenness to restoration is different than from brokenness to a temporary fix.
As a physician, patients came to me with illnesses caused by lifestyle choices, hoping for a quick fix. They did not want to consider the option of complete restoration because that would require more discipline and sacrifice than they were willing to give. Rather than making the necessary lifestyle changes, patients often chose to take medicine, which would provide a temporary solution. We have all similarly shortchanged ourselves in various other areas of our lives.
Spiritually, we often seek quick fixes, as well. Rather than seeking restoration in our lives, which includes addressing the state of our souls, we try to adjust our physical conditions in an attempt to find peace, wholeness and joy.
We see this wonderfully demonstrated in the story from Mark 5:25-34, concerning the women suffering from bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered physically, socially and even religiously because of her disease. She came to Jesus with a hope for physical relief that even her physicians could not provide. She believed that merely touching Jesus would be enough to make her well. However, her definition of well only included her physical health — a quick fix. Jesus’ definition of wellness reached far deeper into the recesses of her heart where he could provide complete restoration.
When she touched Jesus, she was healed, and she fell at His feet. While her physical condition had been cured, Jesus was not content with that. Jesus is always interested in our restoration. He addressed not only her physical, social and religious needs, but her deep spiritual needs by saying, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." In that relational word, daughter, came an answer to the deepest needs of her heart. Restoration was available to her if she chose to respond.
This week, let us not seek just a quick fix, but restoration in our lives as followers of Jesus. To do so will require more time, effort and cost, but the results will be vastly more pleasing.
Sharing the journey with you,