Skip to content Skip to footer

We All Need a Repair Shop

I will openly admit that I am somewhat addicted to Home Improvement shows. You name it, I have watched it! Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, Design on a Dime, Love it or List it, This Old House, Extreme Makeover, Flip or Flop, Rehab Addict, and Trading Spaces. And if you are looking for a great therapy session, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Marie can organize things you don’t even know needed to be organized.

I often have wondered why I engage with this slight addiction. I think it’s because pastors don’t often see the completion of a thing. Thus, pastors (including myself) tend to constantly and neurotically do things like paint walls. These shows hit a deep need for pastors to see a beginning, especially an ending. It is continually refreshing on any home improvement show to see something in great disrepair be brought back to life. It hits us deeply because it is connected to our calling, passion, and mission. It touches us in the place of our hope to see where we have impacted life and the more extraordinary renovation in a person changed by the Spirit of God.

In 2021, JoAnne and I stumbled upon a Netflix series entitled The Repair Shop. The Repair Shop is where expert artisans use their talents and resources to restore sentimental objects that have become inseparable from people’s lives. These artisans prove that almost anything can be fixed up to be as good as new again.

After binging the whole series, we both realized, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a repair shop for our lives — where could we drive down the street to the shop and drop off our lives, relationships, finances, stresses, health issues, bad habits, and our faith for a quick repair?”

The Repair Shop’s presenter, furniture restorer Jay Blades, has a powerful personal story and wrote a book titled Making It: How Love, Kindness and Community Helped Me Repair My Life.” I highly encourage you to Google his name, buy his book, and read his testimony. Jay says this about the show’s success, “A lot of people are annoyed with TV at the moment,” he says. “There’s too much nastiness, whereas The Repair Shop is about making things good again. We fulfill people’s dreams. And when we do, they have such wonder written all over their faces.” Jay says The Repair Shop is all about its relatability and heart.

And how do they do that? They take everyday objects that have succumbed to wear and tear, heirlooms, and treasured antiques in varying states of disrepair and return them to their former glory.

Then, these experts pool their talents and resources to restore sentimental objects as their customers imagined them to be.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a repair shop for our lives and to have a community of experts pooling their resources towards your renovation? Are there places where your life could use some repair and renovation? If you’re bold, here is a question you can give to the people who care about you most: “Where in my life do you see the need for some renovation?”

We all need it.

People who know me well know I love words, and renovating is one of them. Renovate has so many great ideas built into its definition: To restore to good condition: make new or as if new again; repair, to invigorate; refresh; revive.

I don’t know about you, but I could use all those words to describe renovations in my life.

How about you? Can you imagine your life experiencing restoration, repair, renewal, refreshment, and revival?

Pause now and return to the earlier question, “Where in your life could you use some repair and renovation?” Next, exchange the word “renovation” with the words restoration, repair, renewal, refreshment, and revival over that area of your life. What are the possibilities? It might result in extraordinary, healed, holy, hopeful, purposeful, and joyful things!

But to get there will take partnering with God and others, just like the Repair Shop!

Consider Jeremiah 18:1-4.

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him. (emphasis added)

Jeremiah 18:1-4

The prophet Jeremiah was called to speak to a nation. Jeremiah is often described as the weeping prophet as he witnessed the continual suffering of the people of God. Jeremiah was the son of a priest who, for forty years, saw his people and nation tossed around between three superpowers and three kings (one great and two challenging), and he endured with the people of God right up to the point that the Babylonians took them into captivity.

Jeremiah is instructed to go to the Potter’s house in this passage. No doubt this is a real place for Jeremiah to visit, but it’s also an insightful wordplay. In many ways, the Potter’s house is a repair shop.

The Hebrew word for Potter is the same word used in the Genesis creation story where God forms humanity out of the dust. Therefore, renovation begins with renovating our notion of who is the Potter and who is the clay! In Isaiah 29:16, we read, You turn things upside down! Shall the Potter be regarded as the clay? Shall the thing made say of its maker, “He did not make me,” or the thing formed say of the one who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

Renovation must begin with our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual submission to the Renovator. And let’s be honest, many places in need of repair in our lives have come about because of our unwillingness to submit to Him as the Potter in our lives properly.

We, like Isaiah, want to mold and form God. We want a god who fits on our potter wheel — that we can shape into images that seem right to us. Isn’t it ironic that God desires that we remove idols from our lives, but we quickly want to make Him into one?

Renovation begins with renovating our notion of who is the potter and who is the clay.

The question asked earlier regarding what area of your life you want to be renovated may be hindered because you have backward relational positions between you and God. Is God the clay in your world, and you are His potter?

At The Repair Shop, the artisans are constantly dealing with individuals who have attempted to fix their heirlooms, from glue concoctions to simple scotch tape or poorly placed screws and nails. We have done that with our lives in many ways because we have reversed our role with God. And we are presenting Him with our quick fixes and ineffective attempts to repair. However, notice that, like Jeremiah, we must see that the clay in the hand of the Potter is spoiled. In this context, the Hebrew word for spoiled means behaving corruptly, destroying worth and effectiveness. When we choose to be the molder of our lives, our repair work is less than we desire.

I wonder if we would be more willing to let God be the Potter in our renovation if we recognized that what He wants to remove from us are the areas that devalue who we are and our effectiveness to live at a more holy, higher level.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.

1 Corinthians 4:7

When I feel God eyeing in me what is spoiled, I want to avoid Him, run away, or divert by trying to show my best side to Him. But let us never forget that the Potter’s wheel spins; therefore, He will see the spoiled area because nothing is hidden from His sight.

So, Jeremiah reveals that God does not seek to remove what is spoiled from us to punish us. We must recognize that His hand and work do not reject you, shame you, abuse you, throw you away, or neglect you. Instead, to lovingly rework you!

“Reworked” in this passage is a Hebrew word meaning to restore or, most commonly, to return. And what does God desire? As he reworks and renovates us, another vessel that seems good to Him emerges! Let’s read 2 Timothy 2:20-21 in three different translations of the Bible:

In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work. (NRSV)

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (ESV)

Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing. (MSG)

2 Timothy 2:20-21

Let me conclude by encouraging you with some fantastic principles that The Repair Shop taught me, and I believe Jeremiah confirms.

Principle: If it’s personal, it has value.

Lesson: Your value to a loving God is not professional but personal. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

Principle: Just because it’s in disrepair or non-useable doesn’t mean it can’t have the potential for usefulness again.

Lesson: Using broken things on broken people only leads to more brokenness. Take time for your repair so that you are useable for the betterment of others.

Principle: Sometimes, it takes a group of people to help repair.

Lesson: Don’t be afraid of living your life with appropriate vulnerability. I have found that it always involves others.

Principle: Every item, like every person, has a history to learn from and a legacy to give towards.

Lesson: Your story is essential, but it is not finished. And it deserves to be passed on to others.

Principle: You have to let go and allow the piece that needs repair to be placed in another’s hand who can restore, repair, and renovate it. 

Lesson: Placing your life, ministry, relationships, and faith in the hand of the Master Craftsman is to recognize your need for Him and His love for you.

The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.

Jeremiah 18:4

The Master Craftsman’s goal is to rework you into a beautiful vessel pleasing to Him and valuable in the Kingdom.

Everybody needs a repair shop!

A place where the expert can begin to restore the value of who we are. As you engage in your renovation journey, take the time with the Master Craftsman (Potter), let Him restore value, and do the work that seems good to Him. He is more concerned with who you are becoming than what you do. And maybe all the doing has left us needing to be reworked again. He sees your value and invites you to His Repair shop.

You are worth it, and you are loved.

Are you ready to go to the Potter’s house, the repair shop, and begin a new season of renovation?

Place yourself on the Potter’s wheel as you ask, “Where are the clay parts of me that are spoiled and need to be reworked so that I can become what is good and pleasing to You?”

I appeal to you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

Leave a comment