I had visions of bright lights, a smoothly running stove bolt motor, and a responsive instrument cluster. But I was holding a rat’s nest snarl of old spliced wires, sketchy terminals, and rusty switches I had just pulled from the dash of my 1959 Chevrolet Apache. My mind began to race. “What have I done? Will it ever be right again?”

It’s too easy to give in to the restless fertility of bewilderment, when one frustrating question breeds another until hopelessness pervades. I’m thinking now about things far more significant than an old truck. How can one country invade and claim the sovereign territory of a smaller country? How can people attack and kill others attending a music festival? Why would college students protest in favor of the killers? These things ought not be.

I tell you what else ought not be: incurable cancer, broken homes, and deadly accidents. There ought not to be injustice, prejudice, and hate. I wish there was no need for hospitals, prisons, or homeless shelters. People ought not live separate from God and His plan for their lives. Is there a way to put this snarl of earthly troubles into perspective? Will it ever be set right again?

The fact that you have a sense of how life ought to be is a reason to hope. God placed that sense of “oughtness” in you as a compass pointing toward a future set right. Peter spoke about “the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of the holy prophets from ancient time” (Acts. 3:21). John described his vision of a new heaven and a new earth in which death, mourning, crying, and pain are no more. He heard the One who sits on the throne saying, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21). Jesus spoke of “the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne” (Matt. 19:28). The things that ought to be, will be. Jesus will make it so.

I realize some dismiss this as “pie in the sky, by and by.” They have no hope that the sufferings of life will ever be sorted. C.S. Lewis has an interesting response. “They say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.” If your future existence in the time of restoration and regeneration includes no crying or pain, mustn’t that say something about your perspective of the present plagues of this fallen world? This is good news!

My Apache is living its best life, thanks to a new wiring harness. It cranks easily, runs like a sewing machine, and brightens the evening darkness. It is restored to what it ought to be.