If one of my computers start running slowly or drops the network connection, the first thing I do is a reboot! I have learned that just shutting it down and starting over usually gets things going again. It’s a simple fix, yet very effective in most cases. Don’t you wish that life had a reboot sequence? A relationship go sour, every effort to make it better apparently only making things worse. Wouldn’t it be great to hit a reset? A choice is made that proves to be much more costly or difficult than you thought it would be – reboot! I’m just dreaming, right? In a sense, I am. There is no quick fix for life. But …
God does provide fresh starts. “Anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, The Message) When we bring our broken, regretful, sinful life to Him we find forgiveness, restoration to our God, and hope to start anew. King David fell hard. As he reached the pinnacle of influence in Israel, he looked away from the LORD and down into the courtyard of beautiful Bathsheba. Lust became adultery. Adultery became murder. Murder became conspiracy. Guilt chewed him up from the inside out. Then, in a dramatic way, Nathan, God’s prophet, confronted him with his sins, publicly. “God sees, God knows, God holds you in contempt!” What would he do? Where could he go? Was there any hope?
Psalm 51 is the song he wrote in his repentance. “Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to sinners, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.” (Psalm 51:8-14, NLT) I love the way one of those lines reads in The Message. “God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. ” (Psalm 51:10, The Message)
A persistent theme in the Scripture is restoration. God is a restorer who reaches out to offer a new perspective, to erase our guilt, to create a whole new way for us where there seems to be no way. The grand culmination of earthly history is a renewal of all things. In the final words of the Revelation, Jesus says, “Look, I am making all things new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give the springs of the water of life without charge!”(Revelation 21:5-6, NLT) We don’t have to wait for the Final Day to receive a fresh start. He is here now.
Gather up the broken dreams, the sins, the mistakes, the failures; yes, even your ‘successes,’ and take them to Jesus Christ. Lay them down and leave them with Him. God says, “And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart.” (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT) Now, that’s a reboot.
Abba, I am deceived by illusions of self-sufficiency.
I think I can fix my life, create my own happiness;
But my sin deepens, my regrets multiply.
So, here I am, heart open; hands extended.
I ask for a fresh start, a new heart.
Take the chaos, and Spirit who rests on us
Draw something beautiful from it all.
Hold me close to You,
Whisper hope anew, the promise of life eternal.
In Jesus’ Name, I ask this. Amen