God’s Restoration Process

11 Nov

A psychology teacher offered only one question on the students’ final. “You have one hour to write your answer, leave your paper on the desk and leave the room,” the professor said. Most of the students thought very hard and answered the question with long explanations, taking the whole hour. But one student looked at the test for only one minute, wrote his answer, and left the room. He got the highest score.

The Question: “How would you convince me that the chair in front of you is invisible?”

The Answer: “What chair?”

I saw this photo online. Someone obviously did not know how to put this IKEA chair together correctly!

Every time I visit my hairdresser ~ she does my hair in her home ~ she’s got another chair up on her kitchen table. Nancy strips down scratched and worn-out chairs, and then refinishes and reupholsters them. She has a true knack for restoration, for bringing out the beauty in something old. (I keep asking Nancy to do the same miracle for me, in her home salon!)

Some time ago, I read a book by Lee Ezell titled Will the Real Me Please Stand Up! In one chapter, “Let the Unveiling Begin,” Lee asks readers, “If you were to liken your life to some kind of chair, how would you see yourself?” *

Are you: A rocking chair? A Lay-z-Boy chair? A throne? An overstuffed chair? An antique Windsor chair? An electric chair? (LOL!)

As I write this, I feel like a well-used, beat-up chair like the kind my grandma had in her living room. If we’re honest, we’re all a little beat up. We’re scratched and dented as a result of sin, wrong choices and experiences we would never choose for ourselves. We may seem sturdy in spite of being marred, or we may be wobbly and ready to collapse; but not a one of us escapes the wear and tear of this sinful world.

2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us about God’s restoration process. “And we… are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord….” Jesus’ life is the Christian’s model, and God is shaping and conforming His children to the inward likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29). Someday we will be like Him (resemble Him), for we will see Him just as He really is (1 John 3:2).

Yes, God is working on me to restore what He originally created me to be.

Lee Ezell put it this way, “I believe God wants us to strip off those layers covering up the intrinsic value of His original creation. Then folks can see ~ clearly and obviously ~ who we really are. And you’ve got the Manufacturer’s guarantee: underneath it all is a true beauty, the real you.”

How does God strip away those “layers”? The Spirit of God might speak to us about something that doesn’t belong. The Word of God may convict us of areas of sin, where we are “scratched and dented.” God might use circumstances to reveal where we need some work, or even the words of a faithful, godly friend (Proverbs 27:6a).

Imagine if Nancy’s to-be-restored chairs jumped off the table as she worked on them. How foolish! I want to cooperate with God’s restoration process by not “jumping off the table” as He works on me. In other words, I want to trust Him and yield to Him as He strips away what is marred so He can make me useful and beautiful for His glory. Isn’t that what you want too?

* Lee Ezell, Will the Real Me Please Stand Up! (Thomas Nelson Publ., 1995), pp. 74, 76

– Dawn

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