When I was a very small girl, my parents bought a new bedroom suite. It was beautiful! Over the years, the wear and tear began to show. The footboard was actually broken after a family friend chose to sit on it. Years later, my parents sold our farm and built a new home. My husband offered to refinish the bedroom suit for them. The work was tedious as stripper was applied and crud was removed a little at a time. It wasn’t long before the beautiful traits of the walnut wood began to emerge. The stripping, scraping and painstaking hard work began to show desired results. Once restored, the pieces glowed even though the scar from the crack was still evident.
I can identify with that well-worn, battered bedroom suite! The silver hair, wrinkles, and crepey skin attest to significant time spent in valleys … valleys where I failed miserably in attempting to navigate an exit myself … valleys where restoration was occurring even though I didn’t realize it at the time … valleys where stripper was being applied and the scraping of my pride, stubbornness, and downright rebellion began. I must have been in a serious state of disrepair because it has taken a lifetime for me to realize the value of my many treks in valleys and the changes that occurred there. I have learned that my Father is a master stripper and scraper! He knows what He is doing! And even though I resist, He persists! And it is in my senior years, an antique like my parent’s bedroom suite, that I can see the results of His persistence. Less resistance, giving in to the scraping, being appreciative of the process knowing that it is meant to make me glow.
As I remember the valleys and the dark places I found myself in so many times, I no longer feel shame or embarrassment. It was in the scraping process that God removed the guilt as well and used my mistakes as a launching pad for the greatness He plans for me. That’s just who He is! Yes, the silver hair, wrinkles and crepey skin are like the crack in the footboard – daily reminders of an intensive on-going transformation project. That’s what makes me shout, “Hallelujah!”
“…being confident of this that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6