When I painted “Restoration” I had no idea how valuable its message would be. It started as just an ocean scene when a friend saw it and remarked “That’s a riptide”. I knew the double wave represented a double portion, but didn’t yet understand the significance of the riptide. There was so much more to come before I finished the painting and understood its message.
One night while worshiping the Lord, I had a vision of standing in the painting and reaching up into the third heaven. Oh, what a good stretch! I also saw the whole background of the painting filled, in a checkerboard fashion, with pages that had been written on in blue ink. (Look at the symbolic square in the upper left corner of the painting. The blue ink stands for revelation.) I understood these pages to be God’s plans or blueprints for our individually unique lives written and stored in our DNA files. I believe His plans and purposes for our lives reveal our true identity: who we really are. This is why I was reaching up into the heavens and worshiping Him: for the restoration, even double, of that which has been lost, or stolen, or altered in our lives from God’s original plans. As we position ourselves, reaching and believing for His “double for our trouble restoration” God works it all out for good and gets us back on track with an even better end result.
Another friend noticed how the figure appears to be waist deep in the water and said it has to do with our shame being covered. Let's believe for that too in the process of God's double restoration! Like many others, we have just been through a very difficult time of pain, grief and shame. In an effort to recuperate, we journeyed to the ocean to a place called En Soleil meaning in the sun or, for us, in the Son. Upon arrival, we found the beach closed to swimmers due to the riptide which was being caused by a storm at sea. (Have you ever felt like you've been in a storm at sea?) The resulting riptide was really quite beautiful in its intensity and the surfers were loving it. My husband and I stood before the double waves crashing together and pondered what God was showing us. I heard the scripture:
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn (ripped) us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us that we may live in his presence” (Hosea 6:1-2 NIV).
As I thought about this, I understood that sometimes there has to be an end before there can be a beginning, especially when it is a dysfunctional or even destructive situation. God loves us to much to leave us where we are. He wants us saved, delivered, healed, whole and victorious in Him.
As we stood before the riptide watching the clashing of the waves and their perpetual coming in and going out, we saw God’s goodness, His mercy, His loving kindness in the midst of our pain. We also saw His eternal plan to faithfully restore us and our loved ones. Our thoughts and our hopes, our focus began returning to the Lord, our stronghold in the day of trouble, our hope for the future.
Realizing God’s plan for us, we began praying in agreement with Him, declaring it on earth as it is in heaven, and giving Him thanks for it. To our amazement, we saw the riptide receding and the officials opening the beaches for swimmers. I guess you could say the coast was clear. For us, anyway, it was a beautiful thing and a promise of things to come.
“Return to the stronghold, you prisoner of hope; even today I declare that I will restore double to you” (Zechariah 9:12 NKJV).
“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor” (Isaiah 61:7 NKJV).
“"For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall my covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord, who has mercy on you" (Isaiah 54:10 NKJV).