I am thankful for this very beat up, worn out, well-used cabinet. Why? There’s a wonderful story attached to the cabinet. And we can find ourselves in the story. If we do, it’s a great opportunity to be thankful. And that is a great way to begin this week of Thanksgiving Day celebrations.
Thankful: Family Memories
This cabinet belonged to my wife’s grandmother. She was Mama Brown. It was my privilege to know this godly lady. Her son is my father-in-law. From his earliest memories this cabinet was in the farmhouse where he grew up. It was there when my wife and I began to date. And just a few years after we married, Mama Brown passed away.
The old farmhouse was no longer occupied. Most of the items in the house were given to one family member or another. But the little cabinet remained and deteriorated along with the house. And then a family reunion caused some things to change.
Debbie and I attended the annual family get-together. Those gatherings are characterized by fond memories and Texas summer heat. We endured the heat and enjoyed the memories. And Debbie’s trip down memory lane let her discover her grandmother’s little white cabinet. Immediately she began asking what would be necessary for her to have the cabinet.
Her discovery took place in 2015. But it was not until this past summer that we were able to load the little cabinet and bring it home with us. It only stayed at our house a few days. Then it was off to the shop of a long-time friend. And this detail just adds to the value of the story.
Our friend Bobby was a member of the church we served in Huntsville, Alabama. He and his wife, Lynn, have three sons. And their boys are just a little bit younger than our own sons. These guys did a lot of growing up together. So we have many great memories of life and ministry with Bobby and Lynn as well as their extended families. We are thankful for every one of them.
We’ve all wished life would just slow down or even stand still for a minute. It doesn’t. We moved on to other ministry opportunities. That always means embracing many new things. But it also means losing touch, to one degree or another, with people God has placed in our lives. So even in its run down shape the little cabinet served a restorative purpose. We left it in the capable hands of a good friend and waited.
Thankful: A Vivid Reminder
I was preparing for mission with our latest team of ROW volunteers. My phone rang and Bobby said the cabinet was ready. He said the restoration work had gone very well. I couldn’t wait to see it. But it wasn’t going to be OK for me to just go get it. He and Lynn wanted to have something of a reveal moment. They wanted to see Debbie see the restored cabinet. It was worth it!
But the cabinet really isn’t the point of this post. We are. You see, I am like that beat up, worn out, dilapidated cabinet. I was beat up and used up by the world. Was I worth saving? No. And neither were you. But Jesus is the Master Restorer. He takes lives that are broken by sin and shame and turns them into something beautiful for His Father’s glory. Thankful is just the beginning of our responses to such awesome work.
So I am thankful as I walk by this little cabinet that now sits in our dining room. It reminds me of what I once was. But it does so much more. It also reminds me to be thankful for several other things. Among those are:
- I am a work in progress
- Jesus will complete the work He has begun
- No one is beyond His ability to restore
And we should never underestimate the skill of our Restorer!
Soli Deo Gloria!