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Refinished and Restored

sharon
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
( 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)  

Friend to Friend
Junk. That’s what my family and friends thought of most of my purchases. But to me, they were treasures waiting to be revealed.

When I was in my late teens, I had an unusual fetish for beat-up antique furniture. While most of my friends were at the mall shopping for clothes, I was at estate sales, flea markets, yard sales, and auctions hunting for antiques. Often, when I brought my purchases home, my family would roll their eyes and say, “I can’t believe you paid money for that old piece of junk.” But I never saw my purchases as junk. They just needed a little work…okay, sometimes a lot of work.

At one estate sale I spied a little drop leaf kitchen table with three spindle-back chairs. I could just imagine a sweet little older lady spending many years sitting at that very table drinking her morning coffee or perhaps her afternoon tea. I could almost hear the faint whispers of thousands of conversations from generations past. The set was painted a hospital green, but I saw that it had great potential. Obviously the other bidders didn’t recognize a treasure when they saw one, because ten minutes and $35 later, the set was mine.

I brought the dinette set home, all excited about my great buy, and couldn’t understand why no one else shared my enthusiasm.

“Sharon, do you realize how much time and energy it is going to take to make that old green rickety table look even slightly presentable?” they asked. At that point in my life, I had a lot more time than money, so the time wasn’t a problem.

Refinishing furniture is a dirty, grueling task. First, I stripped off the paint with paint remover and discovered that not only had the table been green, it had also been blue, and before that white. But underneath it all was pure walnut.

The paint remover raised the grain of the wood, so I had to go back and sand it smooth. If the sanding isn’t done well, the finished product will always be a little rough. A few joints were loose from wear and tear, so I glued them back together. Then I applied a warm walnut stain which deepened its color and made the beautiful pattern of the wood grain stand out. Finally, I applied a polyurethane coat to seal and protect the piece.

As I worked I began to think of the old broken table as a symbol of my own life. I was also on the auction block, and God had purchased me with His Son’s precious blood. I had layers and layers of my old self that had to be stripped away to reveal the beauty hidden beneath. This raised my grain, but God sanded me with life experiences and trials to remove the rough edges. He glued my loose joints and mended my broken pieces, for He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Then He put a sealer not only on me but in me—the Holy Spirit—who brought out the beauty of who God created me to be.

After I finished refurbishing the old table and chairs, I sat in the garage thinking about all that God had done in my life. My mom opened the door, looked at the old table, and said, “I never thought something so ugly could turn out to be so beautiful.”

I said, “Amen.”

Where are you in the refinishing process? It’s never really over, this side of heaven. But as we listen to God day by day, He will show us what needs to be stripped off, sanded away, and polished smooth to be all that He has created us to be.

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, I was such a mess before You transformed me. Thank You for restoring my soul, renewing my spirit, and redeeming my life to become Your treasured possession…a true work of art.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Have you ever refinished a piece of furniture?  If so, consider writing your own story of how the process resembles how God changed you.

Even if you haven’t, make a list of all the old layers of self that God has stripped away from your life so far. (It is amazing how they just keep coming!)

If you want to see the old table I refinished over 30 years ago, log onto www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes and take a peak.

More from the Girlfriends
Do you find yourself longing to hear God’s voice – not as a once-in-a-lifetime experience but on a daily basis?  If so, Sharon’s new 15-Minute Devotional book, Listening to God Day-by-Day, will help you do just that. It is an expanded version of the smaller book, Extraordinary Moments with God. In it you will find 100 devotions to help you become a woman who detects God’s still small voice in all of life. This is a warm, fun, tender look at recognizing some of the wonderful and unexpected ways God reaches out to us in the middle of our busy days. And for more on how God refinishes and refines, see Becoming Spiritually Beautiful.

9 Responses

  1. Andrea says:

    That story just made me cry :) I myself enjoy refinishing furniture, I consider it therapy, it makes me feel good to see beauty come from the work of my hands. I’ve never thought about God’s Work in me being much the same way. Thank you….

  2. Anita says:

    Hi Sharon,

    I too found a wonderful old sideboard that was going to be dumped at the tip. Everyone wondered what on earth I was doing, but I could see the potential!

    It took me hours, getting rid of all the scratched varnish etc.. taking it back to it’s bare bones.Then I chose a lovely creamy white colour and painted it – layer, by layer. While this was going on, in my tiny one bedroom flat, we couldn’t use the lounge for about 2 weeks ;)

    I then finished it by decorating it with painted butterflies on the drawers – I love butterflies!

    As I sit here replying to your lovely devotional, I can see my sideboard / cupboard filled with my photos, flowers and some dvds that bring a smile… and think how blessed I am that God see’s the potential in me, even when I have trouble seeing it myself.

    Thank you Jesus :)

    Thank you Sharon :)

    • aniesin koffi says:

      Hello Sharon,

      Your little piece is really touching,i wish i could refurbish myself as this furniture.I have been trying for years to achieve this but i keep falling off the track.From your story,i strongly believe it is not over but only to push on untill the old layers are pushed out for the really me to be seen.God bless you.

  3. Lise says:

    Thank you so much for your story! It made me see my trials and tests differently.

    I personally love craft-making( from jewelry to patchwork). I love having all the material around me and the excitement the thought of what the finished product will look like brings. It definitely implies long hours of patience! Even though I end up with backaches, it’s always worth the pain because I know that it will put a smile on someone’s face – either my own or my loved ones.

    But what I love the most is not so much the end result, it’s the actual slow and painstaking process! I love the making-process and the pain it takes at every step.

    How then can I dislike God’s breaking process to turn me into a beautiful work of art, far more valuable than earthly jewelry?… I should know.

    Thank you for your story Sharon!

  4. I truly can relate to this. Thank you Sharon!!! He is constantly working in us.

  5. Racheal says:

    This devotional was beautiful, a work of art! :). Everything GOD does is creative! I mean let’s face it, HE’s only the Creator of Heaven and Earth….the UNIVERSE (:D what an Awesome GOD we serve and Belong too! We are HIS Beloved! Thank you Sharon! GOD Bless you and your loved ones!

    JESUS IS LORD <3

  6. annie says:

    Hello Sharon,

    Your little piece is really touching,i wish i could refurbish myself as this furniture.I have been trying for years to achieve this but i keep falling off the track.From your story,i strongly believe it is not over but only to push on untill the old layers are pushed out for the real me to be seen.God bless you.

  7. Sophia says:

    Hello Sharon, thanks for this touching devo. It was God’s perfect timing that i should read it today, (he has a knack for doing that).
    It touched my heart in a special way as i am going through some tough times. It reminded me that even when you or your family are on the receiving end of attack, that God is hard at work in everyone’s life.

  8. Mary Chukwu says:

    Dear Sharon,
    This is a reminder that God pays close attention to little details.
    Thank you so much.
    Mary

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