God is in the restoration business for the long-haul.
Me…not so much.
When my sweet mother-in-law asked: “Will you be refinishing any furniture this summer?”, my reply was an emphatic “NO!”
I didn’t even have to think about it.
I have way too much going to refinish any furniture!
I want to make the most of my time off and work on the blog and new online boutique, and furniture refinishing was not on the agenda.
As a perk of my “day-job” as a school counselor, I get time off during the summer.
But sadly, the summers get shorter and shorter, and there is never enough time to do everything I would like to do.
Last summer, I spent most of my time refinishing furniture and making hand-painted signs to sell to help fund a mission trip.
So, this time, I thought “Nah, I think I will pass.”
But they’re getting my grandmother’s house ready to rent out, and we have been told that if there’s anything we want, the time to get it is now.
And I wanted this old cabinet. Even though the last thing I really need is more furniture.
I have a table made by my great-grandfather, a pie safe from my other set of great-grandparents, my grandparents’ first bedroom suite and odds and ends from other family members.
Each piece has a memory attached, or else I would not hesitate to sell or donate.
I think this cabinet was originally owned by one of my great-grandmothers.
When I was a kid, it was white.
Then a well-meaning cousin came along and painted it a hideous pale blue, along with all the kitchen chairs. (Must have been during the country blue and mauve disaster that was the ’90’s!)
The latest “John Deer Green” travesty is my doing.
In keeping with the bright yellow and white that I painted Momaw’s kitchen one summer, I covered over the pale blue with green to create a John Deer theme.
I know. I know. No clue what I was thinking, except to brighten the place up.
It was bright, alright…haha!
Although I was reluctant to take on another project, the upside is that I always start thinking about how God works on us when I begin working on a piece.
In fact, that’s how this blog got its name.
Maybe it was time I needed some reminders. Here are some of my thoughts on how God restores.
God Doesn’t Need Us…But He Wants Us
I didn’t need this old cabinet, but I wanted it. God most certainly doesn’t need us, but He wants us. He wants a relationship with us. He is passionate about us in a ways that we can’t even wrap our minds around.
God doesn’t need anything.
But He wants your whole heart.
God Loves Us When We’re Most Unlovable
When I look at an old piece of furniture, I see the possibilities. God is way better at seeing potential than I am!
While I can see beyond musty smells and unfortunate paint choices, God takes it even further.
He sees all the ugliness and filth of our sin and its effects…way worse than a bad paint job… and He loves us anyway.
He loves us too much to let us stay in that condition.
That’s why He sent His Holy Spirit to live within us.
We just have to rely on His power to overcome the pull of the sin-nature. We can’t do it on our own any more than that cabinet can refinish itself.
But the same resurrection power that brought Jesus up out of that tomb lives in us if we know Him as our savior!
The spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. Romans 8:11
God Has Time For Us
My time is limited, but time is nothing to God!
I hesitated to take on this cabinet project, but God never hesitates to take on our sin problem.
He is patient when we fall into the same sin-traps time and time again. God will never give up on us!
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
He’s never too busy to take on our hurts and problems, hang-ups and heart-aches either.
He wants us to talk to Him about whatever is on our hearts, no matter how big or small.
I think that like any parent, the thing he most loves to hear from us is “I love you.”
God Cleans Us Up And Makes Us Beautiful
When I re-do a piece, it is never perfect. My skill level and previous damage will not allow for perfection.
But God not only cleans us up and makes us beautiful, He makes us brand-new.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his good work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6
(Maybe it’s not too much of a stretch to think that maybe it was no coincidence that Jesus was a carpenter.)
He works on us from the moment we are saved until we make it Home to Heaven.
The hard part was done by Him on the cross. When He said “It Is Finished”, it was.
But we still have free will. We can choose whether or not to allow Him to work in our lives to heal and restore.
We can hang on to our favorite sins. Our deep-rooted hang-ups. Our hurts…maybe even bitterness.
Or we can give it all to Him.
All we have to do is lay it at the foot of the Cross, and let the restoration begin!