Thursday, March 1, 2012


Years ago I bought a dresser from a yard sale. It was old, battered, and quite rugged looking. Drawers were off their tracks, knobs were missing, there were gouges and dings, and a bit dilapidated. Anyone could tell the dresser was in bad need of TLC. It was inexpensive, but was going to require lots of time and sweat equity.
Once I got it home, I began to apply stripper to it. I was amazed as I realized it had about thirteen layers of old paint. Each layer spoke to me as to the possible places that this dresser had been. The pink paint told the possibility of a little girl's room, the blue a little boy's room, the avocado green a time when that shade of green was fashionable. Each layer of paint told its own story. Yet, what I found as I made my way through the final layer of paint was the natural beauty of the wood itself. The natural wood had within itself the natural blemishes and knotholes that showed the character of the wood.

As I pondered and meditated on the significance of stripping that old dresser, it was revealed to me what has happened to most of humanity. Society, circumstances, and life has so colored and disfigured us that the natural beauty that God has given us has been lost. I could see the layers upon layers upon layers of painted guilt, fear, hurt, ridicule, anger, emotional wounds, father wounds, molestation, abortions, oppression, and depression. Each layer possesses its own story of reality. Because of those layers, our true identity in Christ has been lost. We have forgotten about our innocence. The paint has convinced us that we are worthless and hopeless. The paint tell us that we need to be discarded or that we need a new coat of paint to hide our hideousness.

I want to encourage you that you do not need another coat of paint. You are not hideous and worthless.You do not need to be whitewashed; you need to be washed white. You need to know that God is not mad at you; He is mad about you. Your potential is amazing. There is a stain that will bring out the natural beauty of your life. What used to be in a scrap pile can become a work of art. The true value is not in the condition of the paint, but in the beauty of the wood. Your blemishes and and flaws produce character.

Humbly loving you,

Bishop Gabe

Image found here.

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