“He Restores my soul.” Psalms 23:3
Have you ever refurbished a piece of furniture? I think everyone should do it at least once. It’s not a quick process ( well, at least it wasn’t for me) and takes patience. Especially if it’s an older piece.
When I was starting out and got my first apartment, In the search for
cheap vintage furniture for my new space, I found this wonderful thick, oak, rustic coffee table at a second-hand store. It needed some love, but it was meant to be mine. Mind you, the table remained in a state of “needing love” for some time before I brought it back to it’s former glory. I was working full time and going to college, so spare time was a rarity.
I finally had a moment to catch my breathe during Christmas break and since I was living in an apartment, I didn’t exactly have a space to make noise sanding or enough ventilation to strip the many layers of stain, paint and epoxy off of the table, so I loaded the table in the back of my little Toyota and headed off to my parents place in the country. I set up shop in their little shed, opened the windows wide and went to work. It was cold and snowing and I remember that I would work at it until my hands were so cold they would not cooperate and then I would go back into the warm house where mom always had a cup of hot tea waiting for me. When I got to the legs of the table, I had to do a lot of hand sanding- the sander was too big to fit into all of the nooks and crannies of the grooves and I would get impatient and distracted, but I was determined that I would go home with that table finished. It took me the better half of three days to complete my project but I did it and I was proud of my handiwork. The wood had been smoothed out and restored and I could truly appreciate all of the grooves and markings that made it unique.
Our heavenly Father seeks to do the same for us, to restore us. It was never promised that this world would be easy. John 16:33 tells us that we will have trouble, but also that He, Jesus, has overcome the world. Our Father loves us so very much and He wants us to know a life abundant. He is a God that knows each and every one of us intimately – He was there when we were created and knows our every thought, our every tear, our every hope and dream(Psalms 139). Sometimes it is difficult to see that when we are in the midst of losing a job, losing our health, losing a spouse or a child, falling into addiction, becoming immersed in things of the world, that HE….is still there right beside us and that HE can use all things for our good and that HE can restore us completely. Now, once we become aware that he can restore us and we have that hope, we have to remember that what we might envision as restoration might not be what He has in mind. I know that for myself, after coming out of a long, difficult season, that I have had hope for the restoration, but have been guilty of not entirely believing that it was meant for me. For others, yes, but for me, eh….I just figured that this was my path and I was resolved to it, but God wants to restore ALL of his children. Joel 2:25 tells us “I will repay you for the years the swarming locusts have eaten -the great locust and the young locust, the other locust and the locust swarm.”
I liken us to the table that I refurbished… it’s not instant. It was a process and just like me sanding and wiping away the layers of epoxy, paint and old stain, the Father is doing the same to us. His 3 days might not look like ours and it may take much longer than we anticipate but He is the great physician, our provider, our comforter, our healer and so much more. We can forget that His ways are not our ways and that He sees the big picture and knows how to bless us far more abundantly than we could ever imagine. It is often in the sanding of those hard to reach nooks and crannies, held lovingly in the hands of our Savior, that the work He has started in us reveals a restoration of ourselves and our circumstances that leaves us revived beyond what words can touch.
Sometimes, His hands reach out to restore us in small ways, in our quiet moments outside when watching a sunset or other times, in much more significant ways such as when we connect with a loved one that we thought we would never find that kind of connection with again. And sometimes the restoration is is just outright miraculous. My husband had a heart attack 4 years ago that should have been fatal. There are only 12% of the population that even survive the kind of heart attack he had. Not only did my husband survive, but as of his exam this year, he has been completely healed. The cardiologist even had the actual echo-cardiogram sent to his office because he didn’t believe the report he read. God restored his heart completely!
In whatever season you are in, whether on a mountain, or in a valley, Take heart and remember that you are the daughter/son of a King that loves you as far as the east is from the west and that He is faithful to strengthen you, refresh you, and restore you!
“And the God of all grace, who calls you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”- 1 Peter 5:10