My husband used an amazing illustration in his sermon yesterday. He recapped a recent episode of American Restoration where Rick restored an old Coca-Cola cooler/hot dog grill to its original, shiny red glory. He then compared that restorative work to what God does in the life of believer.
We serve a God who restores. Paul says, in Ephesians:
But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. – Ephesians 2:4-5
God looked upon us, His children, and saw us dead in our sin. He then, sent His Son to die, so that we could be made alive again.
He heals, forgives, and saves. He is the Author of Life and the Creator of all things. Yet, when I began to ponder God as Restorer, I was overwhelmed with the weight of it.
When others look at us, they see our flaws and our failures. People remember our mistakes and, often, cannot see beyond our brokenness. But God, when He looks at us, He sees the beauty of His original creation.
So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God…God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. – Genesis 1:27,31
Only God can restore a person because…
- He sees our original beauty. Others see us as we are now and, based on that, make assumptions on what we could become. God, however, looks upon us with the love of a Father and Creator and restores us completely.
- He cares enough to do the work. Restoration takes time and energy and sweat. I, for one, would not put the effort into sanding, painting, finding parts and all of the other work that would go into restoring an old Coca-Cola cooler. But someone with a passion for that sort of thing would count it all as worth it. And God is passionate about His children.
- He is able. Not everyone has a knack for working with their hands. No matter how much an item is loved, it can only be restored by someone with the ability to do so. Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think… (Eph. 3:20).
When God looks at you – He doesn’t see fallen.
He doesn’t see failure.
He doesn’t see rusted out and beyond repair.
When God looks at you – He still sees the very good that He created you to be.
He sees shiny, Coca-Cola red. And He can restore you.
Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” – Revelation 21:5