Years ago, I had the classic New Jersey car accident: I was hit from behind as I stopped for someone in a crosswalk. The guy actually got out of his car threw up his hands and exclaimed, "What the blank are you stopping for?" I got out of my car and motioned to the crosswalk, "I stopped for the guy in the crosswalk!"
There was quite a bit of damage in the back of the car, however, this was an old car and it had dents and scratches all over it - I mean it had some major dents, in the front and on the sides. We were in Seminary, we were broke, we didn’t have money to fix the car. Well, he had great insurance and the insurance man came out, looked over the car and told me, "Go to this body shop, and they will fix your car."
So I show up at this body shop, and here is where it gets a little odd. Behind the counter is this tiny old lady who shouts at me in a very heavy Italian accent, "Whadda ya want?"
I tell her, "I would like to get my car fixed. I have the paperwork form the insurance company." So she slowly gets up, takes a look at the paperwork, and whispers, again in a heavy Italian accent, "Just a moment, please." After a few minutes, this little old man appears behind me.
Remember the movie Chariots of Fire? Remember there was a guy who was a trainer for one of the runners, he was the guy from Italy - This was the guy standing in front of me! Mustache, straw hat, the whole nine yards. He looked at the paperwork and announced, in a even heavier Italian accident, "Peter, we fixa your car. Comea back in a week."
A week passes and I get a call to pick up my car. I arrive at the shop and go through the same routine: Little old lady yells then whispers, little old man appears behind me and announces, "We fixed your car...please wait for a Nick to show you out." In a few minutes this huge man, very nicely dressed, arrives and says in a very deep voice, "Peter, let’s take a look at your car."
So we go outside and, I am not kidding, the whole crew from the body shop must be gathered around my car. They are all smiles, and they all individually ask me, "Peter, what do you think of your car? Nice huh?" It did look great. They made me walk all around the car. I said thanks and went on my way.
Right after I picked up my car I went to pick up Katie from work. As she got into the car Katie said, "Where’s the big dent?"
"What dent?" I asked.
"The huge three-foot-long one on the passenger side."
I got out of the car, and there was not a dent or a scratch anywhere on the car! This body shop had not only fixed the rear end damage, they fixed every dent and every scratch and even gave the car a brand new paint job! I have no idea what happened, but my car looked better than a brand new car.
This is what Jesus does for us - Jesus doesn’t restore us to the way we were, but makes us something new. This is what God will do for you. He will not just bring you back, but make you something new. We read in Ephesians 3:20, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." What will God do? More than we can imagine.
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