Over the course of this year, we’ve seen the physical space of our church change. And today, our beloved stained glass windows are finally back in their place.

Together, we’ve collectively held our breath as we watched our space change… Hoping it would be for the better.

Our stained glass windows have been in place since 1924. Now, with the reinstallation, they’re insured for another 100 years. This means that long before us, and long after us, these windows will be a blessing to others… But not without our careful care.

Now, to someone driving by, as sad as it is to think about, our church might not look much different. But we know the truth… In the last year, there have been pieces missing. It’s been loud between services. For the staff, there’s been the practical challenge of scheduling deconstruction and reconstruction.

I think there’s something in this for all of us. From the outside, our church may look the same today as it did a year ago… But we know it’s not.

Especially as the years go by, it can be too easy to measure our faith life by what it looks like on the outside. When the obvious things are in place—a happy marriage, healthy kids, money—we can get too comfortable. All the while, those closest to us know there’s work to be done.

The word for what happened with the windows is a familiar one: Restoration.

Restoration is something different than other words we might use to describe making something beautiful. Why? Because restoration implies there was something beautiful there to begin with.  

Right now, you might be getting by. Maybe life is good enough… Maybe from the outside, it all looks the same as it has. But inside, you know you’re crumbling.

Good news, friend: God is also in the business of restoration.  

Right now, God sees you just as you are. He sees you as you’ve been and as you’ll be, and He thinks both pictures are beautiful.

There is some part of you that needs restored and you have two options: You can stay as you are and hope the structure of your life holds you into place. Or, you can hand the broken parts over to God and let Him make you beautiful again.