Distressed - Dingy or Distinctive?

“Look that!” I exclaimed to my daughter. “They’re asking full price for that chest of drawers, and it’s got dinks, scuffs, and chipped paint.” 

“Mom,” she replied with a sigh, amazed at my ignorance. “It’s supposed to look like that. It’s distressed"

Apparently, distressed is the new furniture chic. It’s stylish to have peeling paint, bare wood, and scuff marks. Back in the day, when our furniture looked like that, it was either time to paint it or replace it, not stick a price tag on it and sell it for twice as much as we paid for it. 

Sometimes I feel distressed. 

 Disappointments rub the color off, and hurts dink the edges of my life. The wear and tear of life dulls the finish, and the real, less shiny, me shows through.

Sometimes, betrayal takes a chunk out of me. 

“Is that distressed?” I asked as I studied a table with a splintered edge. 

“No, that’s not distressed,” my daughter replied, “that’s damaged.” 

Sometimes I’m damaged too. 

Living the faith life is hard. If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re lying. But living without faith is even harder. Sometimes, faith is the only thing that makes sense. I cling to promises like Romans 8:28 and Philippians 1:6: 

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purposes.” 

“He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” 

And Exodus 14:13, 2 Chronicles 32:7, and Rev. 21:3-4:

“Be strong and courageous, for the Lord thy God is with you wherever you go.” 

“Stand still and see that the Lord your God will fight for you.” 

"God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,” 

Faith tells me weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Faith tells me Christ came to heal the brokenhearted. Faith tells me God uses prayer to accomplish his will in the world. 

Faith tells me distressed and damaged is not discarded and defeated. 

Maybe the interior designers have it right after all. Distressed is beautiful.

Are you feeling a little distressed? What scripture encourages you when you feel this way? Leave a comment below to share your encouragement with someone else. If you're reading by email, CLICK HERE to comment. 



This devotion is an excerpt from Lori’s new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women.

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  1. I've thought that same thing about distressed furniture -- it's more a feeling than a look. Thank for the needed encouragement today, Lori. :)

  2. "Faith tells me distressed and damaged is not discarded and defeated."
    Perhaps that's why I enjoy distressed furniture and antiques with some life history : )

  3. I feel the same way about distressed furniture; I would rather pay more for un-distressed. And the stuff that is "distressed" on purpose? Yuck!

  4. Funny how furniture and people can have a lot in common.



  5. Thank you for sharing your awesome devotional with us.
    I have featured you (and your book) at Inspire Me Monday this week!

    Create With Joy