Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The Stone Inn opened in 1806 in the town of Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania. Travelers journeyed through the mountains on treacherous paths all in the hopes of getting a taste of the famous spring waters found in Bedford. The Inn was a resting place for those visiting the spring, a place to enjoy a meal or lodging for the night.  This spring was special, believed to have healing powers first discovered by the Indians inhabiting the area.  Eventually, a local doctor created a retreat for treating illnesses which became known as "The Bedford Cure".
Over time the Inn grew. Improvements and upgrades were made. Buildings were added to the property, creating the sprawling Bedford Springs Resort. As the property was growing so was its significance in American history. It was a getaway for politicians and the "Summer White House" for President Buchanan.  The first transatlantic cable was received at the hotel when Queen Victoria sent the inaugural telegram to President Buchanan in 1858. Over the years seven presidents visited and stayed in the rooms of Bedford Springs.  For the next century the Inn welcomed visitors from all over the world. 
Then, in 1986 the resort closed its doors and turned out its lights. Tastes had changed and the bustle of visitors had died out, leaving the expenses too high and revenue too low to justify staying in business. This historical landmark would be no more. Two years later further destruction took its toll on the abandoned property when the area was ravaged by a flash flood. The once beautiful and luxurious property fell into absolute ruin.
It appeared that the tale of Bedford Springs Resort had come to a close. The property sat empty for twelve years, falling even further into utter disrepair. The walls were falling in, the floors were rotting. The entire building was in a total state of decay.
But in 1998 a group of businessmen bought that decrepit piece of history. They purchased it and did what appeared to be nothing. For six more years Bedford Springs Resort sat, still empty and still abandoned. New names were on the deed but nothing new seemed to be happening from the view on the street. To onlookers, it still looked like a haunted and crumbling mess. 
Then in 2004 something started to happen - something big. Work crews appeared on the scene. Demolition began to take place. An unprecedented renovation effort began to take place. The task was enormous. The financial cost totaled over one hundred and twenty million dollars. 
The new owners' plans were not to completely tear down the old Bedford Springs Resort, they wanted to bring the old landmark back to its days of glory. Their blueprints included a remarkable plan for restoration. All that had decayed and rotted would have to be removed and replaced. Every crevice and corner of the property would be restored to its original beauty. Historians came in to ensure that every detail matched the original architecture and design, remaining historically faithful. Miles of old moulding were carefully removed, sanded, repaired, painted and returned to its proper place. Old pictures depicting the first visitors of the resort were uncovered, restored and beautifully displayed. 
2007 was the grand opening. Bedford Springs Resort reopened its doors to the public, welcoming  travelers to once again bask in the beauty and serenity of the resort's walls. Today the resort stands as a glorious landmark, tucked deep within the hills of Southern Pennsylvania. The property once lost to decay has been brought back to a greater glory than it has ever known. 
Just like Bedford Springs Resort, God longs to perform a remarkable restoration project on His beloved children. Maybe the Bedford Springs Resort restoration was unprecedented when it comes to mortar and brick buildings, but this kind of massive undertaking isn't unprecedented to God. He is the Master Architect of total restoration.
God is skilled at removeing the waste and decay that sin has brought into our lives and replacing it with His glory. The miraculous job of rebuilding is His specialty. He creates the most outstanding blueprints. The plans He has are of splendor and beauty. When we give Him the right to our lives He can come in and perform His powerful work of redemption and restoration.
When I gave my life to Christ I signed over the deed of my life to him.  It is no longer mine. Instead I gave Him control so that He could work out the plan specifically designed for me. The process hasn't always been smooth. Sometimes, just like at Bedford Springs, there has seemed to be nothing going on at all. The work He has been doing hasn't always been visible from the street. But all the while He has been perfecting great plans and moving the right people into the right positions so that the ongoing work of the project can be done with precision and accuracy. 
Bedford Springs Resort wasn't brought out of its decay into all of its grandeur and beauty overnight. The purchase was made, then the real work began. The plans for the building had to be finalized, the old ruin had to be removed before the restored walls, floors, windows, mouldings and lights could be replaced. The finishing touches couldn't be put on until the foundation was secured and the basic necessities installed. The process was long and required great masterly skill.  But today the property is a masterpiece.
God is doing that work in me. As Psalm 23:3 says, "He restores my soul…" He is restoring me to a condition better than I ever was before. He is making me new, a masterpiece that is a tribute to His handiwork. 
As did the Bedford Springs Resort, we have all fallen into a state of ruin. Apart from God we are constantly decaying, wasting away into further ruin. But God longs to purchase us. He wants to take ownership of the wreckage of our lives so that He can restore it according to His plans. When we surrender to His ownership we put our lives into the hands of the greatest Architect. He knows just what walls need to come down, which materials to use and the best seasons to undertake each phase of the project. 
Are you ready to be restored? Sign over your deed to Jesus. Let God start the work. The project will be massive. But at the end of it all a marvelous masterpiece will be revealed. The doors will reopen. Your life will be something extraordinary, better than ever before. God alone can do this work of restoration in His beloved and He longs to do it for you. 

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