Transformation Garden - July 17, 2010

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"Jesus arrived at a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the tract of land that Jacob gave his son Joseph. And Jacob's well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down to rest…presently, when a woman of Samaria came along to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.'" 
John 4: 5-7, Amplified Bible

EXPLORATION

The Well of God's Restoration

"Restore" - To bring back into existence or use. To bring something back to its original state or purpose. To return to the rightful owner.

"The Christian story is that of restoration of intimacy with God and the passion which comes from renewing our choice to respond to his wishes." 
Gordon MacDonald

INSPIRATION

"He refreshes and restores my life; He leads me in the paths of right standing with Him - not for my earning it, but for His name's sake." 
Psalm 23: 3, Amplified Bible

Long ago I was given some old-fashioned furniture my grandfather purchased in the early 1950's. It is a set of western furniture with wagon wheels on the ends of the sofa. For years the furniture bounced around from one family member to another and in the process it became scratched and the leather on the chairs was torn. The coffee table top looked as though someone had danced on it. When I finally ended up with the set, no one else in the family even wanted the furniture. I said to my dad, "Hold on before you get rid of those pieces - I'd like them!" And so he kindly drove 500 miles to pick up this beat-up set of furniture. For several years, I kept it in a shed with a bunch of other junk.

One day, a friend mentioned that she was having some old furniture refinished and began to rave about the fabulous person who was redoing hers. "The old stuff I had looks brand new," she exclaimed, "I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the pieces. They looked so perfect you would have thought I had just purchased them at some fancy furniture store."

I got the expert refinisher's number and in a few weeks he began work on my "cowboy furniture" as I called it.

I'll never forget the day the set was returned to our home. My husband and I couldn't believe the difference. The set looked perfect. Brand new. In fact, as relatives began to come and see the furniture, they wished they hadn't been so quick to "write off" the stuff as unusable. My Grandma took one look at the set in my den and told me it looked better than when she and Grandpa bought it.

In the hands of a trained expert - someone who understood how to restore beauty to a piece of furniture - what looked as though it was of no use and no value became something I treasure.

I know another expert, too. He's one of the rarest individuals. His specialty isn't scratched furniture. It is broken lives.

He's an expert on taking crushed dreams and shattered hearts -- and making them new again. And that's exactly what He did one day in Samaria at Jacob's well when a woman who had watched as her life went from bad to worse came to the well where He was resting. She had had five husbands. And by the time she met Jesus, the guy she was living with, number six, decided he'd keep her around to do the hard work like lugging jugs of water in the noon day heat. But no way would he marry her. She was nothing to him. In fact, she was nothing to anybody, not even herself.

However, when Jesus, the "restorer" came to town, not only did He restore this Samaritan woman's heart - He put purpose back into her life.

If you look at the definition of "restore" at the beginning of the devotional, you'll see that the word means, "to bring something back to its original purpose." This is what Jesus did for the woman at the well! The day she was born, God had a purpose for her life. But at some point in her life's journey, she got off track - way off track! So Jesus came to "restore" her life so she could, as a "new creature," fulfill His purpose for her life. But that isn't all. When you deal with Jesus, it's like having the best and biggest Hot Fudge Sundae in the world. And just when you think things can't get better, they do. Jesus comes along and says, "Let's add a little more whipped cream, and how about cherries and nuts, too?" This is what He did for the Samaritan woman. He didn't just restore her own life. He restored her family life. He gave her a new family in Christ. The people who used to say, "What can you do with that old, scratched-up piece of junk?" followed their new friend to Jesus' side and we are told, "Many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified" (John 4: 39, K.J.V.).

Just look at what a battered, broken woman can do. In the hands of Jesus - our Restorer - we are made brand new. There's not a scratch on us! Thank God!

AFFIRMATION

Restore the Joy

"Restore the Joy of Your salvation Lord 
This is my humble plea 
Cleanse my heart and my soul 
Renew a right spirit in me 
Restore the Joy of Your salvation Lord 
For when my heart is filled with sorrow 
Be my comforter and my strength 
My Joy and hope for tomorrow 
Restore the Joy of Your salvation Lord 
My Life, My Body, My Soul and Mind 
Dwell as a beacon within me 
Let Your light forever shine 
Restore the Joy of Your salvation Lord 
I am leaning and depending on You 
To help me run this Christian race 
Lead and guide me safely through 
Restore the Joy of Your salvation Lord 
I submit myself humbly to thee 
For I am Yours…Completely 
Take Me…Shape Me… 
Restore Me… 
This is my Humble Plea!"

"Therefore if any person is in Christ, (she) is a new creature altogether; the old previous moral and spiritual condition has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!" 
II Corinthians 5: 17, Amplified Bible

Your friend, 
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Dorothy@Transformationgarden.com

P.S.  My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

 
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