Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ground-Up Restoration

My husband and I are what could be called “fixers.”  Throughout our lifetime together, there were many times we tackled projects others saw as hopeless and beyond repair.  Many classic automobiles found their way to us, their rusted bodies dented and missing parts.  But my husband could always see hidden value in them.  His eye would overlook their current condition and his mind would visualize their possibilities.

Other projects included a 100-year old farmhouse that was falling apart from neglect and abuse.  It took twenty years of hard work to see it transform into a marketable piece of real estate.  We sold it before the work was complete, but realized a nice profit.  And the latest endeavor, as some of you know, was the boat we purchased last fall.  Steve spent the harsh mountain winter with the boat under a tarp and a space heater for warmth, bringing it back to life.

Although we are at the age where “projects”, as I call them, are not appealing to me anymore, valuable lessons were learned on those of the past.  The most important lesson is in assessing how much work needs done to the item.  Sometimes it would appear that a little elbow grease, a coat of paint, perhaps new upholstery or some other cosmetic application was necessary.  But somewhere down the road, other unseen problems would make their presence known.  The old adage that certain things can “nickel and dime you to death” is so true in situations like that and usually requires ridding yourself of the problem.

There is a term used in the automobile body repair world called “ground-up restoration.”  It requires completely disassembling the car, repairing or replacing every piece and part, and then reassembling it back to its original factory condition.  Only then is one able to receive assurance and satisfaction that, when rebuilt, no problems will arise later on.  The end result can be very rewarding, but the overall cost can also be staggering.

It occurred to me this morning that man is much like the old rust bucket, dented parts, and boxes of nuts and bolts lying in the weeds behind the barn.  After years of abuse and neglecting maintenance, he parks himself there, thinking that one day he would pull himself inside and fix what was ailing him.  But as time rolls on, he forgets he is there.  Each season’s elements assault him and add to his disrepair until, eventually, he needs more than what he can do to restore himself.  Digging into his pockets, he discovers he lacks the funds necessary to bring the old heap back to life.  He lets the thorny vines and the earth overtake him.

Like my husband’s ability to see worth in an old heap of junk half-covered by briers, God sees value in man.  He sees worthiness in rolling up His sleeves to tackle “projects.”  The extraordinary effort with which He restores man from his rusted-out state defies our own reasoning.  The cost is great to Him, but He knows the reward of performing a “ground-up restoration” is even greater. 

As God disassembles us, He does not simply fix old parts or cover us up with a new coat of paint.  He lovingly replaces all our worn-out parts with new ones that are machined by His hand, insuring us and Himself that the new life He is giving us will last.  Once the restoration is complete, there will never be a possibility of breaking down alongside the road.  There will also never be the fear of ending up back behind the barn, neglected and forgotten.

If you are in need of a Master Mechanic or Body Repairman, I have His number. He comes highly recommended and He guarantees His work for eternity.  Give Him a try.  He is waiting for your call to give life back to your old bucket of bolts and turn it into a work of art.

Suggested Reading:

  • Psalm 23:3
  • Nahum 2:2
  • Ephesians 2:3-10
  • 1Corinthians 15:22
  • 2Corinthians 5:17
  • 1Peter 5:10

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