There is a building at the bottom of a hill near my daughter’s home. This building has been there for as long as I can remember. It has always been an eye sore. It was one of, if not the most, junky looking buildings in our town. Numerous businesses have been in this building, and it always looked the same. Broken down, junky and just plain ugly.
Although multiple businesses leased it, no one stayed very long. Each endeavor was unable to establish a business, although the location is prime. It simply didn’t look like a place you would want to do business. It was that bad.
One day, Breanne and I drove past this building. It was empty again. There was a guy at the back of the building, pointedly scraping the paint off the building. He had a small scraper and was scraping away, a little at a time.
I said to Breanne, “oh my word! Why in the world is he doing that? That building is in terrible shape, scraping a little paint off won’t help.”
Yet day after day, there he was, scraping off paint.
We watched as he removed all the paint. Once it was down to the bare blocks, he repainted the entire building. He then hauled off all the debris from the lot. He cleaned the parking area. He put in new windows. Then he hung up his business sign. And he waited. When you drove by you could see him behind the nice clean windows waiting for customers.
The customers began to come. Each day we would see a new vehicle there. Day after day more customers came.
Today, I was thinking about that building. How it had been in such bad shape for years. Many, many years. No business could survive there. No one took the time to restore what the building must have been in the beginning. Now, it is a really nice-looking building, in a prime spot. All it took was a little work.
I believe that is how it is with us. I don’t know about you but when Jesus found me, I didn’t look so good. I needed a lot of work. Geez…I still need a lot of work today.
Jesus began His work in and on me. He purged away things that had been attached to me for many years. He pruned areas of me that needed to be cut away. He scraped and scraped away at my wrong thinking, and bad attitudes until we were down to the bare bones…and then He began to restore me.
1 Peter 5:10 says, And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Zechariah 9:12 says, Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.
Our God is a restoring God. He doesn’t leave us the way He found us. As a matter of fact, John 15:2 says, Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
This tells me that even when I come to a place where I am bearing fruit, God will continue to prune me. I thank God for that!
Today I want to encourage you. You may look at yourself and feel like you need a lot of work. You may even feel that it will never get better. Remember, God is our restorer. He will restore. He will purge. He will prune and He will make us fit for the His use. He will empower us to bear fruit and to continue to bear fruit. He is so faithful.
When you think about yourself, remember that old, dilapidated building. It is restored to brand new and has become a beautiful property. God will restore your mind, your emotions, your body, your family, and anything else that pertains to you. In Jeremiah 30:17, one of my favorite scriptures, He says, “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the LORD.”
This scripture is not only talking about healing you from sickness, but it speaks of restoring every part of your life. Shalom, nothing broken and nothing missing. That, my friend, is the God we serve. He alone is our Restorer, and He will restore, we can count on that promise.