Have you ever known a real enthusiast in the skill of car restoration? If so, you won’t have any difficulty imagining the following situation.
Jim makes an urgent phone call to his mate, Bill. “Come over here quickly. I’ve got something really exciting to show you.”
Bill races over thinking to himself, “This better be good.” Jim leads him to the garage and slowing opens the tilt door proudly displaying his latest acquisition and the following conversation takes place.
Jim: “Look at that!”
Bill: “Look at what?”
Jim: “Isn’t it beautiful?”
Bill: “Are you sure we’re looking at the same thing?”
Jim: “Isn’t this exciting?”
Bill: “Isn’t what exciting? Mate, all I can see is a rust covered, beat up old FC Holden.”
Jim is fanatical about restoring old vehicles. His room is covered with posters of early model cars as they looked when first advertised as new.
When Bill sees the beat up old FC Holden, he sees something that belongs in the wrecking yard. But every time Jim looks at it, in his mind he pictures the car as it was presented the day it rolled off the showroom floor, which is just how he intends to have it looking again someday. However, in the meantime, he is so ecstatic that this car has become available to him for restoration (no matter how long it takes), that he loves it exactly as it is – beat up and covered in rust.
This is the same attitude I believe God has to us.
People look at others and assess them according to their immediate presentation and the mistakes they’ve made in life. That’s why we hear comments like:
“He’ll never amount to anything.”
“He’s just a no-hoper.”
“Blokes like that are just a burden on the community.”
I believe that God looks at a person and knows exactly how he would appear if the perfect design of that person hadn’t been interfered with – if he hadn’t been progressively wounded and influenced in the wrong directions by others since he was born. God wants to restore people to showroom condition where their lives will have full meaning and purpose, free from all the bitterness, resentment, rejection, and feelings of inferiority they may suffer as a result of failures and emotional wounds accumulated through their lives.
The most enthusiastic restorer of all is immensly excited about the prospect of getting each individual into his garage to begin the process of restoration.
Picture yourself standing in front of God, just as you are, covered in spiritual rust. Imagine the look of love and enthusiasm on his face as he says to those around him,
“Look at him! Doesn’t he look great? I’ve waited so long for this guy to come home to me. I love him just as he is.”
The decision to come to the Restorer is ours. According to the New Testament, the way to the Restorer is by believing in his son, Jesus and following his teachings.
In the well known parable of the prodigal son, Jesus creates an emotional picture of the elation a father experiences when his wayward son recognises the foolishness of his ways, and makes the decision to return to his father. I assume the purpose of this picture is to illustrate the reaction of God to those who make the decision to enter into a loving father-child relationship with him.
So he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him
and was filled with compassion for him;
he ran to his son, threw his arms around him
and kissed him.
Luke 15: 20