In my spare time, when I’m not writing or chauffeuring kids or exhausted from CFS, I like to redo furniture. This past summer, I got the brilliant (at the time) idea to find a new writing desk. My old one had been forced into duty as a sewing machine center and my study was empty. Based on the skills that I learned from furniture upcycling with the ladies’ association, I knew that I didn’t have to pay top dollar for a new desk.
I searched Pinterest, got ideas, and off I trotted to the local Salvation Army thrift store. No desks. But there was a dresser.
Here, it’s turned on its side so you can see the banged-up laminate. The back piece of plywood was wobbly, too. It was in sad condition.
The drawers couldn’t open and close properly and as for the mirror that was originally attached to it: well, let’s just say that it wasn’t attached anymore.
Obviously, this was my new desk.
It took sanding. And priming. And painting. (Lots of painting!) Then an antique glaze and a few coats of wax sealer. And help from my supportive husband, who allowed his garage to be filled with sawdust, drop cloths, and little room for his car for a few weeks.
Now this $25 dresser is a desk . . .
and a set of bookshelves . . .
. . . and an accent piece in my library. (That would be the mirror, which is still not hung on the wall! No photos of it.)
This morning, I thought about how I had looked at this sad, abandoned piece and decided to change it. Is this how God views us?
God takes joy in picking unlikely people for his work.
- You’re laughing because you’re barren, past menopause, and this stranger is prophesying that you’ll be a mother of a great nation; you think that can’t happen? Not so fast, Sarah. I’m not bound of natural constraints on fertility. Menopause? Infertility? Not a problem.
- Oh, you think you’re just a little guy from an insignificant family, and you can’t possibly be a military leader? And you’ve only got 300 men to fight with you against the army of the Midianites? Hold on, Gideon. I’m not bound by numbers and statistics.
- Oh, you’re a beauty queen trophy wife who has to get permission to talk to her own husband? You think you can’t intervene on behalf of your people, the Jews, when their lives are in danger? Think again. Esther, I gave you great beauty for a reason: so you would be in this palace, at the time, with this corrupt king as your husband. Now I’ll give you courage, and your people will be saved from genocide. I’m not bound by societal norms or cultural expectations.
- You’re a terrorist, self-righteous Pharisee, and intent on destroying the infant church? Mm, Saul, you’re going to end up being Paul, a missionary for this very church you’re trying to destroy, a speaker who’ll end up talking to corrupt politicians, demon-possessed slave girls, and everyone in between? Oh, and you’ll write a lot of letters that scholars and ordinary people alike will read for a long, long time. I’m not bound by your motivations and desires.
Unlikely people. A great God.
Unlike me in my creative mode, God doesn’t have to scour Pinterest for ideas, search the web for tutorials, or ask for help from anyone else. He has plans to change us.
No matter how broken down and weak you are, no matter how bruised or scarred, no matter how evil and vile your past has been, know this: God can use you.