Konnie is an all around nice guy. He lives his faith. He is also a collector of antiques. He's acquired an impressive fleet of vehicles through the years: cars, firetrucks, steam engines, even hearses (lest you think that's morbid, he's a funeral director).
The crown jewel of Konnie's collection is a stagecoach he happened upon a few years ago. Most people, at first glance, would have seen a common, rickety, old buggy that one might see in an old western. Konnie saw much more. He saw what was beneath the surface.
Turns out this particular stagecoach was one of only 12 of its kind in existence. Two were on display in museums in Africa, nine had been accounted for in the U.S. This was the missing one.
But the real value of this vintage vehicle didn't come to light until it was tenderly and painstakingly brought by a trained professional through a restoration process. For 13 weeks, the restorer restored. He methodically and meticulously peeled away the effects of aging and abuse. The dark and dingy exterior eventually gave way and the true splendor of the coach was brought to the surface. In the hands of a master restorer, the stagecoach was transformed from a rickety, weather-worn wagon into a stunning, incredibly intricate piece of art.
The verb restore is used over 1,000 times in the Old Testament. Very simply, it means to return to its original condition. More than simply "touching up" or "painting over," the restoration process brings something back to what it was meant to be.
In Psalm 23, David paints a wonderful picture for us—a Father in Heaven who tenderly provides for the needs of His children like a shepherd cares for his sheep. David writes that this Father causes us us to lie down in green pastures. He leads us beside quiet waters. He restores our souls.
The soul is the deepest part of us; our innermost being; the spiritual “me” that was created in God’s image and will live forever. The soul is the very core of who we are. Although today's magazines would tell us otherwise, it is the soul that gives a person value and worth.
That is the part of us that our Heavenly Father wants to restore. He longs to return our souls to their original, pristine condition so that we may be in a more perfect union with Him.
When our souls bear the effects of the wear and tear of life; when we’re scratched and worn and the luster is gone; our Heavenly Father won't settle for a touch up job. He isn't satisfied to simply slap a new coat of paint on us and send us on our way. He seeks to restore us. To strip away our scratches and scars. To return us to what we were designed to be.
When God created humankind, He designed us in His image. And while our bodies and minds reflect His handiwork as well, His signature is our soul. It is our soul that is the essence of who we are. It is our soul that sets us apart from all creation. It is our soul that gives us infinite value.
Every human being suffers the effects of living in an imperfect world. We all, at times, experience downpours of discouragement. Winds of worry. Droughts of doubt. Life’s journey can bring about damaging wear and tear on our souls. But all is not lost. God is in the restoration business.
The Creator is committed to getting to that which is underneath. The Designer is dedicated to proving that our value to Him is never diminished. The Restorer is resolute to return us to what we were meant to be--highly valued, deeply loved children of a Heavenly Father. Lie down in His green pastures. Allow Him to lead you beside quiet waters. Let him restore your soul.