OK, you knew it was coming at some point.... the furniture analogy... Those of you who know me, know I operate a very little business called Gussied UP. Painting furniture, distressing it making it look "new." You knew at some point I would have to throw it in here. But the good news is it really is from the Lord so it has to be for someone out there!
The last few years we have had some "distress" in our lives... to some they may be minor, to me catastrophic to some degree. We lost a baby, daddy missed the birth of our last baby by 47 minutes, we have had bumps along the way with family, marriage etc... all of these you can relate to I know it. All of these have been "restored" to me over time. Gussied UP has been active for 9 months. The Lord has chosen to bless it and make it thrive (well, thrive in my eyes - basically I have been busy up to what I can handle every month, I am not striving for greatness, although I would love my own HGTV show!). Back to my point, that is the ADD kicking in you will get use to it. My point is God restored them one at time and through "distress" in my life I have seen his hand at work. When I started Gussied up, the very first time I used a piece of sand paper I heard Him very clearly, I will restore you, I'll rub the heck out of you for a while but just wait. The first time I put the wax on a piece it was like a band-aide but way better got to see the open wound transform in seconds, and all the beautiful colors came out of the distressed areas and even the color that was there was better... brighter.. richer... beautiful.
I am well aware of the cheese in this post, but I was given a very clear picture from the Lord of what distress and the rubbing and the scratching that the world and Satan will mean for harm but God will mean for good looks like. And not just for good, but for beauty and for GLORY. The loss of a child stretched my heart to an extent I didn't even know was there- only to have more space for God to fill. The birth of my son Max was a miracle I got to experience with my best friend and something God restores daily just by looking at her and Him. I saw Christ in my best friend that day, literally, like He was the one rubbing my head and whispering in my ear and kissing me. A miracle not a lot of people get to receive. I marriage restored or relationships restored are the best kind. Making up is fun...
So basically that is why I LOVE what I do. I get to be reminded with every stroke, of His restoration. I get to pray for the people who's piece I am painting or the one who gave it to me (so my Dad gets some extra love because he finds all the fantastic stuff...) or who it is going to. I receive His gifts while using mine. I am so thankful for the gift He gave me. I am so thankful for restoration in distress... twofold.
I love the beginning of "The Jesus Storybook Bible" by Sally Llyod- Jones (ADD sorry- I think every adult should read this book, we all have child-like hearts, we are all children of God, it will speak to you I promise.. Get it). It reads: "God wrote, "I love you" - he wrote it in the sky, and on the earth, and under the sea. He wrote his message everywhere! Because God created everything in his world to reflect him like a mirror- to show us what he is like, to help us know him, to make our hearts sing..."
We are all so gifted, look around you, through and under and after the distress, there is restoration.