Rust-bucket to Useable Glory

img_3194-2-imp

The old, rusted-out truck rattled to a stop on the back of a flatbed truck. To me, it was ready for the junk yard “crusher”, but to my friend it was a beauty waiting to be revealed. What it would require, would take an unfathomable amount of time and labor. Every screw, bolt and wire, and every scrap of metal would be removed from the interior and exterior. The stripping, scrapping and sanding of every rusty spot would consume months. Pieces unable to be fixed would need to be found – and the finding of those old original parts, would be a job in itself. Bumpers, headlights, seats and even armrests must be exactly right to complete this restoration. At its completion, it couldn’t just look great, it must also be able to function as it should; thus, requiring complete reconstruction of everything under the anticipated, shiny hood. It must be useable – its original purpose must be restored. The end result for the restorer: a stunning transformation from rust-bucket to useable glory.

The word restoration stirs in us an immediate response – one of hope. When we hear it, we anticipate renewal in all areas of our lives; relationships, finances and health are just a few. We expect a quick change, a change that we hope will miraculously transform us, others and our circumstances.

So, when God spoke to my heart and my church, that 2020 would be a year of restoration; I was excited, anticipating all that God would do. Then March came with a deadly virus and a “lockdown.” But now, as 2020 nears its end, I look back and realize that God has been faithful in His promise of restoration.

Restoration is a process – a hard, grueling process. What is true for the restoration of a truck is even more valid for you and me. Each of us have walked through this year differently. The pain and hardships have been very real and daunting. Yet, I have felt the close presence of the Lord through every step. He was there with me; teaching, whispering, encouraging and sometimes carrying me. His transformation in our lives is found in the middle of the stripping, scrapping and sanding – the very process of restoration – the process that this year has accomplished in each of us. We have all gone through that same process, this year.

 We have had to be stripped of all that wasn’t important, scrapped of our own opinions and attitudes, and pridefully sanded into a humble, lover-of-His-presence. He is continuing to replace every lost and worn out part, and is carefully re-wiring us to the purposes we were created for. We are changing from an unusable rust-bucket to a son and daughter of the King, ready to carry out His purpose and plan for our lives and those around us. We are becoming His useable glory.

This year of restoration is nearing completion. The restorer desires to reveal and release His beauty, completely restored and ready to be used. Are you ready? Let’s accept this assignment to carry all that He has restored in our lives into a new year, as we are becoming exactly who the restorer designed us to be.

Ps. 23:1-3 The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. Thats where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to Gods pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name. (TPT)

Stronger & Higher Together

DSC_0753-imp

With a 6ft wooden fence between them my 20ft majestic Purple Robe tree stands beside my neighbor’s spectacular Wisteria vine – both prolific in growth and multiplication. Shoots abound underground – both ways – between the fence line. Each spring to early summer both flower with intoxicating floral blooms that are glorious to behold. This summer, however, I have noticed an exciting merging of the two. The Wisteria, now strong and flourishing, has “jumped the fence” and has begun intertwining with the strength and height of the Purple Robe, reaching its tendrils higher then it previously could. OH, MY – anticipation waits for next springs glorious sight as they erupt – stronger together – each increasing the others beauty – transforming from glory to glory.

Spiritually, we too are meant periodically to “jump the fence”. Those who believe in Christ are many – many different individuals in many different buildings – each prolific and multiplying in their own sphere. As one body through Christ – it’s ok – to “jump the fence”: to intertwine and to bring the beauty of one into many.

We, individually plant our roots into a single place of growth. There we are safe, nurtured, grow, and produce; reaching the top of that 6ft fence, our strength then can be shared, expanded, enlarged into the body of Christ around us.

We as a body require and thrive in unity and connection to each member – whether that is individually or as complete groups of believers. We are all one in Christ!

Just as the strength of the Purple Robe will support the continued expansion of the Wisteria vine (even over the fence) so should we strengthen and support our sisters and brothers in faith. Together we will produce the glorious sight of growing from Glory to Glory. We will grow stronger and higher as we become one body – loving and walking together.

I Corinthians 12: 12-13As the human body, which has many parts, is a unity, and those parts, despite their multiplicity, constitute one single body, so it is with the body of Christ. For we were all baptised by the Spirit into one body, whether we were Jews, Gentiles, slaves or free men, and we have all had experience of the same Spirit. (Phillips)

In The Palm Of His Hand

Get comfortable in the palm of your Father’s hand – He has you and He is faithful to accomplish all that He has started.

IMG_8127-imp

Last fall I planted a plethora of spring bulbs hoping for a beautiful show when the frost, snow and bone-chilling cold had begun to recede. As the ground began to warm, those bulbs began to respond. And much to my delight, the bright colored daffodils and tulips lifted my spirits as they bloomed.

It wasn’t until the tulips burst into fullness that I was overwhelmed by a spiritual similarity. These tulips had been buried 7 months – during the dark, wet, frozen winter they were not resting but being prepared for one single purpose! All that waiting had allowed strength and nourishment to marinate within them. At just the right time they would come forth and bring forth ONE single flower; ONE single flower that had one purpose for just a few precious weeks. That purpose – to shout of His glory – to shout of the coming of spring – to bring extravagant hope!

The size of these tulips amazed me – they were huge – their bowl base could fill the opened palm of my hand. And there you have it – in the palm of my hand.

         Isaiah 49:16a. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands (ESV)

We too, are like that ONE single flower in the palm of our Father’s hand. Our beauty and purpose are single focused for His purpose. We too, go through times where we experience those months or years of dark, wet, frozen winter. However, when we rest in the palm of His hand and allow His preparation; we too, will come forth to that one single purpose. That one single purpose we were designed for – to shout of His glory – to shout of the coming of spring – to bring hope to the hopeless!

So if you are in that time where you feel buried – waiting in the dark, wet, frozen winter – take courage – for you are being prepared for that one singe purpose! The ground will warm and thaw; and you will burst forth into that single purpose for His glory. So rest and allow His strength and nourishment to marinate within you – get comfortable in the palm of your Father’s hand – He has you and He is faithful to accomplish all that He has started.

         Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (ESV)