I found a great little science experiment to do to compliment our American history lesson. Our reading had taken us to New York for a look at the Statue of Liberty. Pinterest had guided me to a neat experiment to show how the copper that Lady Liberty was made with developed a patina and now gleams with an unmistakable bluish-green.
After gathering my jar of coins and assembling a small bowl of vinegar and salt, we dipped the tarnished pennies into the bowl. We were thrilled to watch the dull pennies reappear with a beautiful copper luster. We were so thrilled in fact, that my 5 year old brought out his own money jar. He dipped all of his money in the solution and shined them all up.
The second part of the experiment was to divide the coins into two different groups and observe a unique outcome for each. The first group was simply set out to air dry after it’s vinegar bath. The second group was rinsed well and then dried off. What we were told in the instructions was that the first group would rapidly develop a greenish color similar to that of the Statue of Liberty and the second group, after being rinsed, would shine.
I don’t know why it was so hard to keep track of the coins but it was! I’m not sure if at one point they all were mixed together, I didn’t rinse them well enough or the instructions just didn’t work, but we had a fail. Mr. Still Practicing Self Control had a meltdown. He let me know in no uncertain terms that not only were my own coins greenish but “you made my money ugly”. He could not get past the fact that his coins were dirty. I explained to him that the coins still had value and they could still be used, they just needed a little cleaning up. He needed a little more convincing to be sure that a store would accept his coins. He just didn’t see them as useful anymore now that they were ugly and tainted.
I put aside the coins and hoped to figure out a method to save them when my little man went off to play. I sat down to read the Bible and the scripture jumped out at me. 1 Peter 5:10 ” And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will HIMSELF RESTORE YOU and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” NIV
Yeah, I know it is not about coins. But wow, I had to read it again, because I knew there was a pretty important truth I needed to hear in there. God himself restores me. He is the one who like those coins, washes off the tarnished and dull spots. He is the one who himself removes the build up from the years of wear or from a sudden dip into tainted waters. He is in the process of restoring me and he is not finished yet. Though I am still a work in process, he accepts me and I have value.
Sometimes we work so hard to be polished and presentable and we think it is in our own power to do this. It’s so good to know that God takes us, just as we are, to be used by Him as He goes through the process of restoring us in His own time.
If you are wondering about my sons coins, when he wasn’t paying attention…. I swapped them out for fresh coins that had not been experimented on. I kept the tarnished ones for myself. Perhaps there is a lesson there too, God takes away the ugly, tarnished and seemingly unusable and exchanges it for something new. If you are waiting for a shiny, presentable and polished life to offer to the Lord, why not present to Him the life you have, the person who you are though tarnished and marred and allow Him to exchange it for new life?
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV