Focus: Believing restoration is possible
Revelation 21:5 (NIV) He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Some of my earliest memories are of my parents building things and fixing things. They were children of the depression, and knew how to ‘make do’. Their generation had to work a lot harder than we have ever had to. They didn’t throw broken things away—they fixed them. Doing this for so many years, they got very good at it.
One of my dad’s favorite sayings originated with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. It goes like this: “The difficult we do right away—the impossible just takes a little longer”. This is pretty much the model I was raised by—along with, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13. Having two parents who could ‘do anything’, was a lot to live up to. Their expectation level was high. I benefited greatly from their example and never imagined that either of them would face any problem they couldn’t solve.
My parents were childhood sweethearts who rode horses holding hands on their adjoining farmland. They married young and had three children in five years. They had a lot of challenges—but they worked through them and stayed together.
When I was fourteen, my dad finally gave his heart to Christ. An amazing change took place in his life. He was truly transformed by the renewing of his mind. He started carrying a small black leather New Testament in his pocket. He looked for opportunities to be a Christian ‘brother’ to other men who were struggling in different ways. He became faithful in attending church and loved sharing his faith. People wanted what he had—because it was the real deal.
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All of his life, my dad was a hard worker. He studied and applied himself. He was a true over-achiever. He received promotions and held top management positions with a few companies in the automotive industry. He could always find better, more efficient and cost productive ways to do ‘anything’. I was of the opinion that my dad was invincible and a genius…and I wasn’t the only one who felt that way about him.
So, you can imagine my shock when I got the call that my dad had a heart attack. He was just 41 and I was 21. During the same period of time, his back began to show signs of deterioration. Within a year—he was completely disabled. He spent the last nineteen years of his life in a horizontal position, only able to be on his feet for a half hour to an hour a day, but he accomplished more in that condition than a lot of men who had full use of their bodies. He continued to repair and restore anything and everything he could–right up to the end of his life at 58 years old.
My dad’s story is one of restoration. He didn’t have a lot of benefits handed to him. He lived with several families from the time he was just a baby until he got married. I don’t have the space to go into detail about the sorry events of his youth—but given the circumstances he was dealt, it’s a miracle he didn’t end up in some kind of trouble as so many disadvantaged young men do. He had way too much self-respect to ever let that happen.
My dad was sometimes bitter and frequently angry when he was younger—but he didn’t stay that way. He wasn’t perfect—but he demonstrated the life of one who had been redeemed and restored. He helped a lot of people and lived a life that was an example of perseverance and accomplishment against great adversity. He loved fixing things that were broken and seeing them work again. He never took the easy way out. He always chose the right way to do a job—even if it meant he had to work ten times longer to get it done. He knew his standards were high and he never apologized for them. He was always learning and teaching others what he had learned…inspiring them to try things they had never done and encouraging them to believe that anything was possible.
Declaration: I will find new strength by not taking the easy way out. I will wait on God as He fixes me and uses His power to accomplish a full restoration in my life. The work may longer than I would like it to—but it’s not impossible.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.