Recently, my wife and I traveled to the town I grew up in. I went to a Catholic school from 1st to 6th grade. One of the best things about this school, in my opinion as a kid, was the awesome custom playground they had. There was a set of swing-sets shaped like a cowboy and an Indian, a castle, a cool slide, and a whole bunch of other playground equipment that I’ve never seen anywhere else.
The last time I had been in my hometown was 10 years ago, but I hadn’t seen that playground since I was about 13. As we were pulling up to it, I was expecting to see all those old pieces torn down and replaced with typical plastic cookie-cutter playground stuff. I mean, the last time I saw the playground, it was pretty run down. Broken chains, paint peeling off, dents and cracks – it didn’t look long for this world.
To my surprise, we found the complete opposite. The playground still had all the original equipment, but it had definitely been fixed up. I saw broken pieces fixed, fresh coats of paint, everything looking brand new!
And almost immediately, I saw the connection to my life.
This is what God does for us. God created us how he wanted us, but we choose to let our lives get run down. Beauty fades, cracks appear, dents are inflicted, our lives get broken. Some is done to us, some we’ve done to ourselves.
And most often, we fear that our lives are beyond salvation, beyond recovery, beyond repair, without hope of ever being what we were created to be.
But God doesn’t see it that way. If we let him, he will fix us up, restore us, and pick right up where we left off when we made the decision to live for ourselves instead of for him. We will be like a brand new creation!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
He restores us, he doesn’t replace us. He made us for a reason. We just have to be willing to let him come in with some fresh paint!
Matthew Coker is a Media Director at a church in his hometown, where he also is a leader at a Celebrate Recovery program. He’s a huge comic book nerd, Whovian, and Greendale Human Being. Matthew and his wife live in New Mexico.