It is much easier to break something than it is to fix it. You drop your phone on the ground. The screen cracks. It didn’t take much to break it. To get it fixed will require much more effort and expense.
You can think of this principle in terms of relationships and many other aspects of life. You violate a trust with another person and fracture the relationship in an instant. It might take years to repair what is broken if it can be repaired at all.
Another example is debt. A momentary lapse in judgment and you make a purchase that puts you in debt. It only took a moment to put you in debt, but it might take you years to crawl out from underneath it.
Here is the point – healing, restoration, and repair are a process. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes discipline.
I remember a few years back going on a hike and getting lost. Once I was lost, it was not a simple matter of hopping back on the right trail. I needed to retrace all the previous steps to go back to where I had made the wrong turn. I had gone down the wrong path for a long time, and so it took me a long time to get back on the right path.
I have watched people miraculously healed or restored in the moment. More often I have witnessed healing taking place over time. That time is valuable. That time helps us to appreciate the restoration that God is working in our lives. The time helps us better live in the light of our healing. It is through the process that we learn from our mistakes and gain the wisdom not to go down that path again.
Consider these words from Proverbs.
My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11–12 (ESV)
There are so many times where I wish God would have spared me from the consequences of my actions. But find it interesting how the Lord’s discipline is connected to wisdom. Read the next two verses:
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. Proverbs 3:13–14 (ESV)
We talk about how we learn from our mistakes. But the reason we learn from our mistakes is because we live through the consequences.
I want to leave you with this. When we commit ourselves to the long process of restoration and avoid the “quick fix” – miracles often happen! God rewards faithfulness. I have seen couples in debt who commit to wise financial stewardship. They make a budget and have a 5-year plan to get out of debt. Then an unexpected blessing comes along, and they can pay back their debts in half the time. It’s not a guarantee that such a miracle will happen, but God has a way of knowing when the lesson is learned. He is in the restoration business and is full of grace and mercy.
Questions for Reflection
- Do you agree it is easier to break something than fix it? Why or why not?
- What is the value of the process of restoration?
- How have you witnessed the reward of faithfulness in your life?
- Share your comments.