In 1974, my Mom bought an old beat up dresser at a yard sale. It had been painted four times. First white, then yellow, then black, and finally blue, and one of those colors was applied with spray-paint. The top of this dresser even had glitter and stars embedded in the paint, perfect for a little princess. It had nicks and dings in it, but somehow in spite it’s horrid past and abuse, my Mom looked beyond all of its shortcomings and saw what this oak dresser would eventually look like when it was completely restored. It just needed a little love. Actually, a lot of love. Restoration became her focus.
My Mom paid $10 for that dresser, which may not seem like a lot of money, but given inflation, that $10 in 1974 is equivalent to $52.26 today. That was a lot of money for my parents at the time. When I was 7 years old, I remember her stripping the dresser in the front yard on a bright sunny day with this clear jell-like paste that irritated the eyes if you got too close (don’t’ ask). She had to do this outside because the smell was so bad, and after sitting for a while, it bubbled like it had blisters and boils all over it. Then she took this paint-scraper and scraped all of the paint/stripper sludge off of it. I felt bad for the dresser. Surely it had to be painful. She went through this process several times to remove all the layers of paint. Then she sanded it. Relentlessly. She first applied course sandpaper aggressively, eventually making her way down to finer sandpaper. The more she sanded the more beauty came out. I was just 5 years old when she bought it. When I was 10, it was completely restored.
Upon reflecting on my Mom’s relentless commitment to see the restoration of that old beat up dresser, I can’t help but to compare how relentlessly committed the Father is to seeing us completely restored.
Sometimes Life Punches Hard
Fair or not, life can punch hard. And it hurts . . . sometimes a lot. Getting fired is not fun. Going through a divorce is incredibly painful. The loss of a child . . . is unfathomable . . . it’s utterly devastating. These issues are real and can feel like you have been unexpectedly sucker-punched, taking your breath away, leaving you gasping. How does one survive such a blow, let alone recover?
Let me encourage you. The Father knows your pain, intimately so. He knows every hurtful word that has been spoken, every lie you have believed, every crushing blow you have received.
His son said:
“28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jesus offers restoration if we will just come to him.
The Father Sees The Completely Restored You
Like my Mom could see the beauty beneath all the years of wear and tear and abuse that this lonely dresser had gone through, so too, the Father sees the beauty that lies beneath the years of wear and tear, and perhaps even abuse, that you may have gone through. What you see are the scars and layers of pain and paint. You probably can’t envision what a restored you looks like. But God can. He sees what you look like after you are completely refurnished, even before the restoration process begins.
You Can’t Rush Restoration
A doctor prescribes medicine to a patient so that patient will be restored to complete health. Complete restoration can take days, weeks, or even months for it to finish its course. Then again, it could occur in a moment. You can’t rush restoration, but God just might. Let us not forget that Jesus healed the woman with the issue of blood in an instant, (see Mark 5:25-34). My approach to healing is to ask God to heal me. If the healing does not happen right then and there, I keep asking. My confidence is in him, because I know that only he can bring complete restoration.
I also find great comfort in knowing that the Father knows me so intimately, that his prescription for healing and restoration is second to none. If I allow him to restore me the way that he sees fit, I will be completely restored. If, however, I change his prescription for healing and restoration, I won’t be completely restored.
Hear me clearly. The Lord knows your pain, and will . . . not . . . hurt . . . you. He brings healing and restoration, not pain and destruction. The Lord is Good, he’s better than you think.
The Father is Relentless
He is so committed to your restoration, nothing else. His sole focus is on your complete restoration. That’s why he sent his son, that we might be restored to the Father.
What lies have others told you that you have believed about yourself? Has your understanding of who God is and his love for you become warped? Are there layers of pain that need to be removed? Will you trust him to refinish you? My hope is that in reading this article, you see just how relentless the Father’s heart is toward seeing you completely restored, and I encourage you to respond to his invitation, “Come to me”. He will to restore you so that you may have life . . . and have it abundantly! (See John 10:10).