Before and After
We spent a recent few weekends restoring an old dining room table and its six chairs for our new dining room. I love the experience of restoration. If you ever do it, you’ll never look at old wood furniture the same again. You can see it’s potential and envision making it come alive. I was reminded over and over again through our little revitalization process of the restoration that God has begun on my heart and life, stripping away my selfish pride one layer at a time, and adding His touch to the interior of my life making me come alive. Also, couldn’t help but think about some of the guys in our church right now who have joined me in this continual process. Guys carrying a lot of baggage, lots of scuff marks. I can see God’s work of refinishing each week.
And we’ve got a responsibility in this process as well. Galatians 6:1 says, “if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.” The word restore was actually used by the Greeks to describe the refinishing of wood or the mending of nets. It could also be translated “equip” or “mend.” The sense is that the object is to be made useful and fit for service once again.
That’s what the Gospel does. Takes something old, dry, dead and restores it to beauty, usefulness, and for service. And I love seeing the before and after pictures of God’s work in the lives of people. Not always an easy process. Not always enjoyable for those walking with people in God’s restoration program. It’s much easier to just draw a crowd, stay at arms lenght, and assume everyone’s ok, than to actually develop and seek the restoration of what the world has damaged.
- Am I allowing God to restore my heart? We can’t do it alone (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 2:8-10).
- Who am I restoring, equipping, encouraging?
Excited the old table is back in service. Today was our first day to utilize it. Even more excited that b/c of Christ, my lifelooksdifferent today and can be useful to Him. Glad to be one of God’s before and after stories. Looking forward to seeing and hearing about many more.