Ps 51:12, Lm 5:21, 1 Pt 5:10
About 20 years ago I was gifted a pair of Jenny Lind style twin beds from my parents. The beds were purchased by my grandparents and had been in their house before my parents got them. When they were purchased they were stained a dark rich brown. When my mom inherited them she wanted to update them to make them more usable in her home so she painted them. Over the years they were painted several more times to match whatever room they were being used in. By the time I got them, they were thick with layers of crazy colored paint and guess what style of furniture finish was back in fashion? Right, natural dark wood was the craze of the day. I was young and dumb and decided I’d just sand them down and re-stain them. I started sanding by hand. That got maybe one or two coats of paint off on the flat parts of the beds. The bulb shaped spindles and grooved frames were still loaded with paint. Not to worry, my energetic self found a family member to borrow a hand sander from and I attacked the beds again. This time I got down to the wood on the rounded bulbs of the spindles and the flat parts of the beds, but all of the rest was still multiple shades of paint. By then I was weeks into this project, I had little kids and little time to do the labor intensive, intricate sanding work, and I was missing the expertise it took to bring these beds back to their natural beauty. I had no choice…if I was ever going to be able to use these beds, I needed help! I bit the bullet and paid some guy to “dip” them in paint stripper for me. It still took me a few more days of sanding, a day to stain, and several more days to varnish, but I got them back closer to their original beauty, and definitely to a usable state. Now, ask me if I have ever tried to restore another piece of furniture since! The answer is a firm no!! I had bitten off way more than I could chew when I tackled the project and that decision and month of work has left a lasting memory in my mind that won’t ever be forgotten. I learned my lesson.
When I looked at the name of God for this morning, that bed project popped into my mind. It’s the only thing I have ever tried to restore, and it didn’t go well. When I start considering the type of restorer God is, the job becomes even more insurmountable. Most of us humans struggle to restore things. God is in the business of restoring hearts, minds and people, not pieces of wood. He has the power and patience to work on us, to restore us from sin, to bring back the joy of our salvation, and to place us on a firm foundation. To this Peter says, “all power to Him forever! Amen” I couldn’t agree more!
We serve a God who is perfect, all knowing, all powerful, and created each of us individually. He knows us intimately. He loves us deeply. He knows what is best for each of us when we probably think we know what is best, but truthfully only know what we want. He is willing and patient enough to do the labor intensive, intricate work of restoring us. He has the expertise to know exactly what motivates us and what reshapes our thinking and He is powerful enough to arrange our circumstances so our extra layers of yuck/sin can be scraped off. God can do for us what we are not able to do for ourselves. On some issues, we don’t even realize that we need to be restored. God’s perfect truth pinpoints what needs to be changed or scraped away. Because He knows us intimately, He is able to reveal to us where we are buried under layers of wrong thinking and how we are justifying sin to ourselves. His power and might can change any circumstance to help us see truth. All of this personal and individual work is done on our behalf to restore us, to set us back on a firm foundation. He is the perfect Restorer!