Fine quality furniture has often been something I've admired. Not just pieces that were beautiful on the outside; but pieces I knew were strong on the inside. Finances may not always allow the purchase of such excellent craftsmanship; but other avenues make themselves available, in the form of estate sales and auctions. Incredible bargains are likely to be found; but sometimes due to disrepair, one has to be willing to put forth some effort to restore the wood's natural beauty. The first step in this process is to reconnect any loose or broken parts and fill in any chips or nicks with wood putty. The next step would be to remove any excess putty with a cloth and lightly sand for a smooth finish. Depending on whether you want to restore the whole piece or leave some of it with that "distressed" look; you may do one of two things. For a "total" restoration you may want to use furniture "stripper" which quickly and cleanly removes all the old stain; although there may be some spots that require a little extra scraping to remove all the flaws. For partial restoration; you may want to sand only certain areas and leave the rest in their current state. Once the old stain is removed, a more thorough sanding will prepare the surface for the new paint or stain; depending on whether or not you want to "cover" or "enhance" the natural beauty of the piece. Once multiple coats of whatever you have chosen to complete the piece have been applied; you will want to ensure the lasting quality of the finish by providing a coat, or two, of some type of protective sealant.
So it is with restoration of our hearts. We first allow God to reconnect any loose or broken parts in our lives; that is, those areas in our lives where we have not fully trusted Him to be the Lord and Savior that He longs to be. Second, we allow Him to repair any missing pieces of our hearts - i.e. places where we have suffered loss or places where we have not yet fully understood how much He loves us, and how much He wants us to prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers. If we choose to allow God to perform a "total" restoration; then we completely accept His sacrifice on the Cross, and believe that He removed ALL stain (sin) from our lives and restored us to the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. If we choose instead to allow God to perform only a "partial" restoration, then the possibility that our lives will exhibit that "distressed" look is highly likely. The purpose of sanding is to smooth out the finish so the the new paint/stain fully adheres, with minimal visible flaws; although some minor flaws are necessary to enhance the "character" of the wood. The protective sealant of our hearts is the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on Calvary, for you and for me.
Sometimes the process may be painful; but always when the process is finished there will be something to treasure. Sometimes the sanding was tedious and time consuming and my arms felt as though they were falling off; but the joy of beholding the finished product was indescribable. Will you afford God the opportunity to restore you so the world will behold His love shining through you?
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