As I wiped it down as a part of my weekend chores, I warmly remembered the day my husband Kenya and I tackled the restoration project last year.
Before getting started, our poor piece of furniture looked the worse for wear. It had scratches, dings and nicks all over it. From the appearance of the thing, it was useless.
Honestly, we both thought of junking it. But then, we got a better idea that involved a power sander, paintbrushes, polyurethane and time.
He and I stripped the top layer of the wood, getting down to the raw material underneath.
After clearing away all the dust, with paintbrushes, we applied the polyurethane—a durable protectant that reeks horribly, but shines furniture beautifully.
Slowly, methodically and carefully, we guided and glided the bristles over the length of the oak wood table in smooth strokes. The layers of polyurethane couldn’t be lathered on too thick, otherwise, it would bubble up and mar the finish.
So the application process required patience.
Since Kenya and I had to allow hours of drying time in between each of the three coatings needed to complete the finish, we couldn’t rush through it.
I remember how badly I wanted to see it all done. I was eager for the restoration to be completed, but I had to wait.
Let me just say, it was so worth it.
The table is beautiful and in pristine condition now. All it required was perseverance and patience.
The restoration of the table actually didn’t take that long, though it felt like it while doing it. We started it one day and finished the next. We were amazed by the results.
Years of wear and tear were reversed in a day.
The biblical story of Nehemiah is a great picture of how possible restoration is and how something broken can become beautiful.
When Nehemiah, a Jewish cup-bearer, first heard that the walls and gates of Jerusalem, the Holy City of his people, were destroyed, he was devastated.
Nehemiah 1 says he cried and mourned over this sad reality of his people, the Israelites.
But he didn’t take up residence in the valley of gloom and doom indefinitely. Rather, Nehemiah prayed and fasted, and then obtained permission from King Artaxerxes to go and rebuild those walls.
With God’s favor and help, despite many challenges and much opposition from enemies, he got the job done.
It took 52 days according to Nehemiah 6:15.
The task was difficult for sure, but Nehemiah, whose name means “Yahweh Comforts,” was consoled, strengthened and helped by the Lord.
Friend, the same God that comforted Nehemiah through the process of restoring what was broken, offers consolation to you.
No matter how rough the road, God will hold your hand through the rocky places. He will be your guide, shield, defense and strong tower. Trust Him.
You may be dealing with something really tough right now. Some areas of your life may look like Jerusalem’s pre-restoration walls: all broken down.
Yet, if you remain patient and steadfast, God will restore.
He is able to rebuild the shattered, crushed, desolate places which have been a source of hurt, frustration and disappointment for you.
In the meantime, His word comforts you. His presence soothes you. His love holds you. His power sustains you.
Like Nehemiah did in the beginning, you may be crying, mourning and feeling somewhat hopeless. But don’t stay there in that dark place.
Do what Nehemiah did: fast and pray.
Seek God. Talk to the Lord about it.
And don't forget to take comfort in His promises. The psalmist who wrote Psalm 119:50 certainly did, which is why I'm stirring that passage into your cup of inspiration.
In the God’s Word Translation it says, “Even in my suffering I was comforted because your promise gave me life.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, cling to the promises of God, which offer comfort in affliction.
Be encouraged by the knowledge that the Sovereign One, who specializes in rebuilding broken places, is putting things back together in your life.
Now let’s pray.
God, there are broken areas in my life in need of repair. As I await the manifestation of your restoration power, I will take comfort in Your word and I will hope in Your promises. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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