I did something on Monday that was so out of character for me that I think you should sit down before I tell you.
I went all HGTV and restored the wood of an arm chair.
See, I got this new room at school, and it is so massive that it makes me giddy. It’s a huge square of a room, and I want a few cozy chairs in the back where students can kick back and read books in Spanish.
Well, my neighbors had a garage sale this past weekend, where I forked out $10 for an arm chair. Then I got it home and realized the first student who sat down in it would have to go to the school nurse to be treated for arm abrasions.
So I Youtubed a tutorial on furniture restoration, made a trip to Home Depot, and got to work on that chair before I could talk myself out of doing manual labor.
With paint thinner and steel wool in hand, I started stripping the old varnish. While I worked, God talked to my heart.
Ten Things You Can Learn about God by Restoring A Chair
- First there is the purchase of a nappy piece of furniture, and you have to know God bought you with the blood of Christ when you were looking more shabby than chic.
- The plan is to restore, but there’s stuff to know about the process. That’s why we immerse ourselves in the Bible every day.
- There’s investment made in you beyond the purchase –a daily commitment to do whatever it takes to get you looking fine. That’s why God sends the Spirit to live inside us. Being made into a new creation calls for hands-on labor.
- Steel wool and paint thinner is the first step, and that requires extreme abrasion. Expect the restoration of your soul to be seriously uncomfortable at times.
- Maybe you think the wood is looking much better and smooth after the steel wool –and why not stop there? Oh no. That’s just the beginning.
- Next step is 320-grit sandpaper (and I’m feeling super cool that I know this.) Now comes the fine work, and I am seriously in love with sandpaper now. There were some big cracks in the chair I was working on, and now they’re gone! Like, I totally sanded them out. Some of those things in your life that you feel can never be repaired? Well, just you wait.
- And another thing about sandpaper? Well, that’s the reason a 46-year-old who has known Christ for almost 40 years can still wake up and need work. Wow, are there a lot of places in my life that need to be smoothed out. I’ve decided our souls are the equivalent of finely detailed wooden spindles.
- Next stop –wipe down all the wood to get the sawdust off. (Hey, starting to have some hope that this thing can actually look good.)
- Apply wipe-on varnish. Ah, lovely. After we walk with Christ for a while, we start to see some beautiful, new places showing up. Just keeps getting better.
- The chair is safe to sit in now and even looks good. And we see that as God cleans up our lives we become more and more useful to the people around us (I stole that part from my husband’s sermon last week. Shhh.) We start to give people hope that maybe their rough and worn-out souls can be renewed, too.
Paul says to followers of Christ:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
So where are you in God’s restoring process? Steel wool or fine-grit sandpaper?