Once I thought I was an old stove.
Guest Writer, Raelene Pearce.
You know the kind you see on the back veranda of old houses. There they stand, gathering cobwebs, rust and the neighbour’s displeasure.
I remember just such a stove at a house on the main road into Coromandel Valley. As I drove past, I would quickly look to the left, and there it was for all to see – an old stove, plunked beside an old sofa with the stuffing falling out.
I used to think, ‘Yes, there you are, just like me. I bet there’s a new model where you once were. A shiny, clean, sparkling stove, probably fan-forced and…self-cleaning!’
This happened twenty-six years ago, at the time I was traded in for a new model wife. I truly thought I was like that old stove.
But I want to bear testimony to the One who is my Redeemer - Jesus. He rescues and reconditions old stoves. Not only that, but he restores them so completely that the inside is as sparkling clean as a brand-new model straight from the warehouse.
All he wants from us is a repentant heart and a willingness to be changed into something new, something the Father can use for his glory. God never wastes anything. Nothing from the past is beyond restoration.
God cannot change the past, but he can change the way we respond to the past - now! We are not victims! We are Overcomers! How are we Overcomers? How do we overcome those things that torment us, that rise up and make us remember the dark things?
Three thousand years ago a young man called David sang a song and it’s recorded in Samuel 2 and I want to look at the opening verses. ‘The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.’ I’d like to replace the four-letter word ‘rock’ with another four-letter word – ‘love’. ‘The Lord is my love, my place of safety and restoration.’ Because God is love, he brings us into his embrace and restores all the old stoves and all the young stoves whose shiny surfaces can be so easily scratched.
And who is this God of love, this loving ‘Rock’?
THE GOD WHO IS LOVE. GOD DOES NOT HAVE LOVE, OR MAKE LOVE, OR DO LOVE LIKE A HOBBY - HE IS LOVE AND ACTS OUT HIS LOVE WITHIN HIS VERY BEING – BEING GOD.
I want to paint you a picture of perfect love. There never was a time when the Father was not the Father and there never was a time that the Son was not the Son. There was never a time when the Father did not love the Son and there was never a time when the Son did not love the Father. The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is equally placed in that love relationship of the three in One: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all in the community of love. There is a continual dance of love between them. The whole reason for their being is to love.
What is absolutely wonderful about all this is that the Triune God – that is, the Holy Trinity - has chosen to include us all in this wonderful overflowing love relationship. So as we believe in Him we are taken up into this embrace.
That’s what being a Christian means, being in relationship with God the Father, with Christ the