I love restoring bikes. It’s something I found a passion for during the pandemic. Like many, the Covid years unearthed parts of us we never knew existed.
For me, it was the satisfaction of seeing dirt and grime busted, rusted chrome restore its shine, and something that has been devalued and left in disrepair find its true worth and purpose again. It excites me to be able to see the potential of what it could finally end up looking like – a far cry from its current state.
Some folks pick up strays from the streets – I pick up abandoned bikes. What follows is usually an arduous (and sometimes costly) process of restoration. As I set about this hobby, I’ve come to realise that God’s heart towards us is always redemptive and restorative. He’s in the restoration business.
The word ‘restore’ appears 136 times throughout the Bible. To restore is to bring something back to its original intention and purpose, to return it to a former condition, place or position; to make whole again.
I remember an old song called, ‘Touch of the Master’s Hand’ by Wayne Watson. The lyrics are about an old violin, battered and scarred, that was put on auction. No one deemed it worthy until a gray-haired man picked it up, wiped away the dust and tightened its strings. With a bow in hand, he started playing on the old violin with a tune so beautiful and sweet.
From a dollar, the bid rose immediately to a thousand, and the old violin was sold at the highest price. Everything changed by just one touch of the Master’s hand.
Some of us may feel like the old violin, left to rust and rot in a corner, neglected and forgotten. Perhaps we feel like we’ve been devalued by circumstances or people around us. (‘Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonour they shall rejoice in their lot…’ Isaiah 61:7);
Maybe it’s a broken relationship that needs mending (‘I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak…’ Ezekiel 34:16);
Has your body been battered by illness?(“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 30:17 ESV);
Have you lost your spiritual vision? (‘Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.’ Mark 8:25);
Are you in a situation that feels like a lost cause? (‘And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you’ 1 Peter 5:10);
Or perhaps, you just feel tired and worn out (‘He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age’ Ruth 4:15).
The process of restoration can be a tedious and painstaking one. But, with just one touch of the Master’s Hand, everything will be as good as new. We can take the manufacturer’s word for real – it’s found in the final chapter of the manual – “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:50).