Restoration Story

 

Fixer Upper House Home Repair Construction ProjectThe word restoration brings with it concepts like renewed, reestablished, returned to a former or original condition. I’m a fan of Chip & Joanna Gaines and their show “Fixer Upper”. They take “run down” or “beaten up” old houses and make them beautiful again and worth a lot more money than they were previously. I have the privilege of seeing homes restored and updated with more new and modern materials. Just yesterday, I listed a home that had been completely taken down to the bare walls (with removal of some walls) and brought back with a new kitchen, new bathroom, flooring, electrical – you name it and it was touched and restored or renewed.

I definitely believe my life has been restored on more than one occasion. There have been seasons of my life where I “went through the motions” of following the Lord. Lately, I’ve had an insatiable hunger for more of Him in my heart. I am participating in a small discipleship group with four other men and we’re reading scripture together and talking about how the Lord is speaking into us. This morning I was reading in Isaiah and the Lord speaks of restoring His people and this passage spoke to me about His restoration of me. Check this out…

I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’
    and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’
They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures
    and on hills that were previously bare.
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst.
    The searing sun will not reach them anymore.
For the Lord in his mercy will lead them;
    he will lead them beside cool waters.
11 And I will make my mountains into level paths for them.
    The highways will be raised above the valleys.
12 See, my people will return from far away,
    from lands to the north and west,
    and from as far south as Egypt.”

13 Sing for joy, O heavens!
    Rejoice, O earth!
    Burst into song, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted his people
    and will have compassion on them in their suffering. (Isaiah 49:9-13 NLT)

I can still recall times of suffering in my life. I can see now what I couldn’t see then – how the Lord uses suffering and struggle to build things into my character and into my heart. I do not wish to go through that again, nor do I wish suffering upon people. I have learned to embrace it when it arrives. I can’t remove it. I can’t escape it. With the Lords help, I can survive it and grow in my faith through it.

My favorite part of this passage is, how the Lord can make mountains level and the highways above the valleys and how He leads beside cool waters. I am a survivor of suffering because the Lord is with me and He will ALWAYS be with me. His promises are real and so is His restoration of my heart. I am a real life that is a “fixer upper” for sure.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A New House

 

Keys to new homeOne of the most fun parts of my job is helping a family close and get the keys to their new house. There is such anticipation and excitement as they disconnect and move from their current house to a new house. The comparisons begin immediately about how the new house is more spacious and flows much better. The laundry room is bigger, the floors are nicer, etc… There are other times when a person is buying a home and they have to visualize how it could be, because it’s currently quite a mess. They have a vision for the house and that drives them in the purchase phase as well as the rehab phase.

The Lord was challenging His people to rebuild the temple and it would become greater than before. It was hard for many of them to imagine because all they could see was an old run down big building that was really in ruins. Check this out…

3 “Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4 But now be strong, Zerubbabel,” declares the Lord. “Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,” declares the Lord, “and work. For I am with you,” declares the Lord Almighty. 5 “This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.”

9 “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,” says the Lord Almighty. “And in this place I will grant peace,” declares the Lord Almighty.’ (Haggai 2:3-5;9 NIV)

The Lord is certainly in the rehab and restoring business and it’s not just with buildings. At the time of Haggai, the Lord’s Presence dwelt in the temple. He now makes His dwelling place the hearts of those who love Him and are committed to Him. He restores the hearts of those who once knew Him and welcomed Him but then left Him. He often restores their “temple” (aka their heart) to even greater significance because He can.

The restoring process of my heart can be somewhat painful as He pulls down the old wall coverings and even the walls themselves and builds all new walls and floors in my soul. He rebuilds me from the ground up and the process, while painful is so worth it. The finished product is really much improved.

Lord, renovate my soul today to make my heart a home for you!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Restored

 

This word carries a tremendously positive thought with it. It means, “to bring back, reinstate or return to a former condition, place or position.” The word also implies renovate and repair as well. Restore is a powerful concept. I see this woven throughout scripture because The Lord is in the “Restoration Business”. In Nahum he speaks of restoring His people. Check this out…

1 An attacker advances against you, Nineveh.

    Guard the fortress,

    watch the road,

    brace yourselves,

    marshal all your strength!

2 The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob

    like the splendor of Israel,

though destroyers have laid them waste

    and have ruined their vines. (Nahum 2:1-2 NIV)

The psalmist speaks of the Lord restoring his soul. I’ve experienced this first hand. I’ve been broken and the Lord put me back together again. I’ve been pretty bummed out and stuck in a rut and the Lord picks me up again. It is way too easy to get down on myself and start thinking that I’m no good or I’m washed up. The Lord walks with me in the middle of those struggles and helps change my perspective. When I look in the mirror, the guy I see there can really get me down and mess with my soul. I struggle with my weight. I have a lot of imperfections on my face. I’m aging faster some days than others. I start putting significance on the things that don’t really matter but they still pull me down. The Lord restores me and loves what He sees. He restores my soul when I invite Him in. I need Him to do this frequently. Sometimes I need to be restored “to factory settings”. :-)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Restored & Repurposed

3ac8def5228502ac10e2d9f09581659cThere is a great movement around us that involves restoring old furniture. My brother-in-law up in Kentucky takes old wood from torn down houses and barns and makes beautiful pieces of furniture.  ( http://www.farm2furniture.com )The wood is still the same wood with a new purpose. In order to restore a piece of furniture it must be salvaged or saved first. It can then be brought back to like new condition. The Lord is in the business of restoring and repurposing. The process is not without pain and struggle. It is a process that changes the usefulness of the person, place or thing being restored or repurposed.

Jeremiah tells the people of Israel that they will be restored after their discipline of exile. Their cities will once again be vibrant and thriving. The Lord disciplines, restores and repurposes those He loves. Check this out….

3They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. (Jeremiah 32:38-41 NIV)

 

There are literally millions of restored and re-purposed people. I am one of those too. The Lord took me from my old self and put a new Spirit in me. I have His view and I have His vision going forward. I see life through the lens of His Spirit in me!I once was lost but now I’m found. I was blind but now I see.” The Lord is overflowing with grace and mercy that leads me to repentance which then leads to restoration and repurpose.

I’m so thankful He called me to Him.

I’m so thankful for His Presence in me.

I’m so thankful for restoration of my heart.

I’m so thankful for the repurposed life I have in Him!

Pressing On!

Dwayne