About 5 years ago I ran across a restaurant that was having a warehouse sale. I walked through the dark warehouse and saw bins of old silverware, plates, and cups. There were also broken, run-down appliances, light fixtures, and wall decor. I didn’t think I’d find anything useful… until I got to the back of the warehouse and saw a dirty, scuffed up, wobbly table.
The table had clearly seen better days, but it happened to be the exact size Liz and I were currently looking for. I knew it would need to be rehabbed, but I thought it might be worth it. I asked the guy behind the register how much they were charging and was shocked to hear he was practically giving it away.
I loaded the table up in a friend’s truck and took it straight over to a Hopester’s workshop, knowing he’d be able to help me restore this table back to its original beauty. After days of sanding it down, tightening some nuts and bolts, and applying many coats of stain, our table was ready. My friend Tim and I carried it into our kitchen. It was a perfect fit! A beat-up, run-down table that was once sitting in the corner of a dark warehouse has become the gathering place our family sits around every day.
I like shiny, new things, but more and more I am coming to love things that have been restored! Things that were once scuffed up, rough around the edges, and deserted in overflowing warehouses. These restoration projects have become a reminder of my own restoration. My restored kitchen table is a daily reminder of my own restoration by Jesus!
This coming weekend we will be starting a new sermon series called Restore. We will take a few months to go through the book of Nehemiah, which starts with a city in ruins and God’s people scattered. As we go through this story, we will see Nehemiah give us a guide as to how we can restore what lies in ruins.
In Nehemiah, God’s people are re-building a wall and re-committing themselves to God’s ways. Today, we don’t necessarily see a wall in ruins, but instead we see lives all around us in ruins. There is much around us that needs to be restored, and the story of Nehemiah is one of restoration.
In our messed up, scuffed up, wobbly world, we can use Nehemiah’s wisdom as a guide to draw our own lives back to the Heavenly Father and others back to Jesus.
I hope you’ll join us, and I encourage you to invite some friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family to join us as well as we start this new sermon series!