What does restoration mean to you? Maybe you are thinking of some things and they may be based on how dilapidated the thing is you are starting with, and I think that's both realistic and necessary. I saw a mail box that the wind had apparently blown over yesterday, and thought somebody needed to put a new post on it, and dig a new hole. That's a 2 hour project maybe? Just now, I saw a picture of some antiques, particularly an old coke box that had been restored, and it got me thinking which led to this article. That old coke box had to be rescued from the scrap yard first, by somebody who wanted to restore it. Then there was a lot of work to do.
If you've ever done such a project or maybe restored an old car or even fixed a wrecked car, you know how much work goes into such a project. Cutting away rust, adding new metal, straightening places, putting in auto body filler for the big spots, then putty for the small spots, then primer for the sanding and grinding scratches, then finally a smooth sanding and new coat of paint. On a coke box, you then have the decals to restore, the hinges and hardware and perhaps a stand or something. A lot of work to get a beautiful antique back to its original appearance but consider what you have when you are finished!
When we talk about restoring people, particularly to God, the amount of work is based on what we start with. If we are working on ourselves, we know how dilapidated we are, what is hiding under what others can see, and we pretty well know how much work we have cut out for ourselves. If we are assisting others in a restoration process, we may not can see all the damage that is in need of repairing. Like the coke box, if we get fully restored, we will always know what bad stuff we smoothed back out and covered with new paint, and that can even be helpful in keeping ourselves from getting that way again.
It would be nice if it never happened, but life is real, and people do slip away from God and become damaged by sin and the world, and many of them (even ourselves at times) need a nudge to get moving in the right direction for restoration. God never closes His body shop, He has no waiting list, and parts are already in stock. We can come to Him at any moment and get started with our restoration project and He will be there to help us through the process. None of us have any legitimate excuses when it comes to being a rust bucket when we could be a fully restored showpiece for Him.
Today, if you have been away from God for awhile, there is a group of Christians at 37th Street church of Christ that are embarking on a journey right now that we fully expect God to use in smoothing out dents, fixing broken parts, killing rust, and restoring before Him a people fit for service in His Kingdom. We are excited, and want you to join us as we remember Whose' we are, and why we are here. It is about to be an exciting time in our congregation, and the more people who want to be a part, the better it will be for all of us. We are just gearing up and have some very encouraging things lined up for the months ahead.
If you've been gone, we want to see you back. If you've been down, we are ready to help pick you back up. If you've gotten tired, we are ready to help provide that shot in the arm we all need. Come and be a part as we let God lead us on this journey. The train is about to leave the station, and we want you onboard!