Behind the chain link fence several old vehicles are left to rust. Their useful life is over and they have been abandoned to the effects of the elements.
A collector car show is happening in another part of town. Those vehicles have been restored and have shiny new paint jobs. Signs tell us of their history and ask us not to get too close. Crowds of people hover nearby expressing their appreciation for these vehicles.
It made me wonder why some are abandoned while others are lovingly restored. Is there a determining factor as to what is worth saving? Who decides what is collectible and what isn’t? Is it the outside or inside that matters most?
I am so thankful that God does not judge me by my outside appearance. The signs of aging do not diminish my value.
Among the many promises of the Bible is one that says God will never abandon me. I know this to be true. When I attempted to rely on my own strength I faltered. God could have turned his back but instead lovingly restored me. He invites me to come close. It gives me great peace to know I will always be loved and cared for, even if I do have a few dents in my fenders.
Be happy with what you have because God has said, “I will never abandon you or leave you. (Hebrews 13:5 GWT)
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. (Isaiah 55:8 NLT)
The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)
My husband and I were getting ready to leave on vacation. I was preparing our home for a family who would spend a few nights there while we were away.
I got clean sheets out to put on the bed and realized they had a few marks on them. They weren’t good enough for company so I put them back and chose another set. As I unfolded them I saw the signs of wear so definitely couldn’t use them. It took several attempts before I found ones nice enough to use.
The sheets I rejected are ones that we use on a regular basis. I had become so used to their imperfections that they were no longer noticed. It was in looking at them through the eyes of a hostess that I could see the obvious.
The parallel of this to my life was clear. I start out clean and fresh and over time some stains appear. Soon I start to fray around the edges. This happens so gradually that I don’t notice. In my mind’s eye nothing has changed.
When the light of the Son shines on me everything is illuminated. Jesus, God’s son lets me see the areas of my life that are no longer fresh and clean. He then lovingly works with me to restore my heart so it is always ready for others to see what lies within.
You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. (Psalm 71:20 NLT)
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. (1 Peter 5:10 NLT)
My husband and I enjoy classic cars. We’ve spent many hours going to previews and auctions of these vehicles. When my son was young, he and I attended an auction, got caught up in the excitement and started bidding. My husband was very surprised when I called him at work to say we’d just bought a 1957 Cadillac!
The car was very large compared to the more modern ones we owned. Enormous chrome bumpers made it even more so. Our carport was not quite deep enough for a vehicle of this size and the back bumper was exposed to the elements. The chrome started to rust. Our plans to restore it to its former glory didn’t materialize and we hated to see it deteriorate. Eventually we sold the car to someone who wanted to do the restoration.
Thinking of that car has brought back many memories. It also has reminded me that although things many start out shiny and new, they don’t stay that way. When chrome is not maintained, it needs to be stripped down and re-chromed.
The same is true in my life. When I don’t treat my life with the care and attention it deserves, rust spots start to appear. If not dealt with, they will spread and take over what was once shiny and bright. Restoration can happen, but the process may not be easy or pleasant.
Jesus can take this blemished life and restore it. He will not just paint over my rough spots, but will do what is necessary to remove them so there’s a better chance of the restoration being permanent. He cares enough to want the very best for me. When I pray and stay in close contact with Jesus, my life will be bright enough to reflect him to others.
Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20 NLT