Restore us to yourself, LORD, that we may return;
renew our days as of old
Prophet Jeremiah writes the book of Lamentations at a bitter time in Israel. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Because of their sins God has rejected them. Because of God’s rejection, Babylon has successfully attacked them and destroyed everything. People have been taken to captivity. Soldiers and royalty have been killed. The entire land is deserted except for a few peasants. There is no hope of nationhood anymore. This could be the permanent end of Israel. Therefore Prophet Jeremiah mourns through the book of Lamentations.
In his mourning, Jeremiah narrates how everything has gone wrong. Collapsed government. Dead economy. No more livelihood. The favor of God is no longer upon them. Jeremiah ends his book of Lamentations by the words of our text today. Restore us to Yourself. He tells God that we have always belonged to you. Things go wrong when we forget God and are separated from God. The one solution for all their myriad problems is a restoration back to God. When things go wrong you go back!
When an agreement goes wrong, the involved parties go back to negotiate the same agreement. Issues in the agreement are discussed. When things go wrong you go back. When you do not understand what you were taught, you go back to the teacher. You go back to read again. When you fail a critical exam, you prepare and repeat it. When things go wrong you go back!
When human relationships fail, a critical solution is going back to talk. Human relationships begin and are maintained by communication. When relationships are strained, the solution must include the restoration of communication. The warring parties used to communicate. The boyfriend and girlfriend started by talking and used to communicate. This marriage happened because there was communication. Students and administration had open communication channels. The rebels and government used to talk or will now have to talk. Restoration of communication is a priority in resolving any human to human problems. When things go wrong you go back!
Our life started with God. Our day to day life is sustained by God. We exist by the will of God. Nothing good or bad happens to us unless God allows it. Our relationship with God is what we call our spiritual life. Our spiritual life has a direct impact on our finances, social life, our health or physical life, academic life, etc. When things go wrong in our life, we need to restore our spiritual life. Fixing our spiritual life is going back to critical basics. Whatever else goes wrong, even if it has no relationship to spiritual things, just fix the spiritual first. When things go wrong you go back!
When Jeremiah realized the situation was too bad, he pleaded for restoration back to God. Restore us to Yourself. He didn’t ask for military might though it was necessary. He didn’t ask for a truce with Babylon, though it could have eased the suffering. Jeremiah asked for the restoration of the critical basics that changes everything. Restore us to Yourself. When things go wrong you go back!
Look around your life and establish what has gone wrong. You need to go back to the way you used to work hard. You need to go back to the communication you had. You need to go back to saving habits. You need to go back to waking up early. In every situation, there is a going back that will help. However, the ultimate going back that fixes everything is going back to God. When things go wrong you go back!
Dear God give us wisdom and courage to go back and correct what has gone wrong. Above all else, Restore us to Yourself, in Jesus’ name, Amen!