On a recent road trip, we passed a truck pulling a two-tiered trailer laden with vehicles.  Even from a distance, I could see that these particular cars were not being chauffeured because they were brand spankin’ new.  No, these unfortunate automobiles were on their way to the junkyard.  All eight of the cars secured onto the back of this semi had extensive damage – not just from fender benders, but serious crashes.  None were drivable whatsoever.

As I passed these masses of crumpled metal, I thought about how similar these cars were to mankind.  All of us, Christian or not, are damaged goods.  We are all tainted, dented, tarnished and rusted.

Yet God, in His grace, picks us up and carries us just as we are – but not to the scrap yard.  No, He lifts us out of the scene of the crash and transports us to the one place where we can be fully restored – at the cross of Christ – and He Himself is the ultimate panel beater.

Unlike those cars on the back of the truck, we can be used by God in spite of our flaws, as He continues to mold and shape us into His perfect design.  Sometimes the repairs can take years, but we can trust that panel by panel, He is removing every spot of rust and chipped paint until we reflect His /image from every angle.

The full spectrum of price and prestige was seen on the back of that trailer that day.  The latest Range Rover.  An old skedonk.  Yet none of them could repair themselves.  In fact, none of them could even get themselves to the panel beater without help.  We can’t function on our own, and we certainly can’t fix ourselves.  But if we submit ourselves to the One who designed and created us and ask Him to fix our imperfections, He bestows on us His righteousness, to the praise and glory of His Name.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”  (1 Peter 5:10-11)