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The road around the corner from us has recently been patched. The surface, renewed. I can’t say that they have done a good job. But nonetheless it says something about the nature of renewal, even at the hands of a far greater master-worker.
When our strength is renewed, there is still evidence of our worn-out-ness. When our hope is renewed, we retain the memory of our despair, even if it is no longer raw. When our joy is renewed, our sorrow is not obliterated. To renew is not to return to pristine condition, or to ‘factory settings’. When God raises Jesus from the dead, imperishable, his body bears the wounds of the crucifixion. When God will renew the heavens and the earth, they will bear the scars that tell their stories. Because story matters, and story comes in many layers.
Pray to be renewed—and learn to recognise it.