April 26, 2021
God Rebuilds From the Rubble
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"The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem; he gathers Israel's exiled people. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds." Psalm 147:2-3 (CSB)
"It's all too much," I told a dear friend as we talked over a video call. "How can God take this mess and mend it? How are we supposed to endure so much pain at once? How are we going to rebuild from this?"
She was kind and offered a listening ear. These questions are often difficult to answer, but she listened and prayed.
My father-in-law unexpectedly passed away. Our hearts shattered as our family was thrown into a spiral of grief and turmoil. It's in rubbles again, I thought.
So many of the last few years had been spent rebuilding from the rubble of the past. I was still picking up the shattered pieces of broken relationships, wrestling with bouts of anxiety and wading through family troubles. When I attempted to catch my breath, relief slipped through my fingers every time I thought I had a grasp on it.
As I sat in my mother-in-law’s office after the call with my friend, still feeling disoriented, I wondered where God was in the middle of this. Soon, I would need to make funeral arrangements - all while tending to my littles, caring for my grieving husband, working and writing a seminary paper.
When life comes tumbling down, it can be challenging to see God's hand in the middle of it. We think of the rubble as a sign of God's inactivity. We equate pain with His lack of care, but God deeply cares for His family. (Matthew 10:29-31) His promise enables us to move from brokenness into healing. It allows the eyes of our hearts to see Him rebuilding amid the ruin.
As I prayed and sought comfort in this trying season, Psalm 147:2-3 came to mind, which reminds us of this Truth: "The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem; he gathers Israel's exiled people. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds."
"The LORD rebuilds." These words gave me hope. The writer of Psalm 147 offers us a look at God's faithful hand by taking us back to a time when God's people had become captives, exiles in Babylon. For 70 years, they waited and looked for God's movement to save them. Seventy years of broken hearts grieved by their circumstances. Sometimes we can feel so much like the Israelites surely did - unseen, forgotten, abandoned.
However, true to God's promise, deliverance came through Cyrus, king of Persia. He conquered Babylon and proclaimed: "The LORD, the God of the heavens, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build him a temple at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the LORD his God be with him" (2 Chronicles 36:23, CSB).
I can only imagine the comfort this brought the Israelites in Babylon! God was faithful, and Israel witnessed it. God rescued them from exile, and they would enjoy worshipping Him in His rebuilt temple.
He gave comfort and rescue not only to the nation of Israel but also to each individual, as Jesus does with us today, the bride of Christ - through His life, death and resurrection. Jesus is eager to comfort and soothe our emotional and physical wounds.
After my father-in-law's death, I learned rebuilding takes time, and during rebuilding, we sometimes have difficulty seeing God's hand. It is not that God is unable to move on our behalf but that we are unable to see it when He does. Psalm 147:2-3 reset my gaze to the kindness and faithfulness of God, how He works in the rubble to rebuild - what a gift.
Our life will have many troubles. We will encounter circumstances and seasons that will leave us wounded and brokenhearted. But God, in His lovingkindness, mends our hearts even when we cannot see it - rebuilding from the rubble and ruin, piece by piece. The discomfort may run deep, but God's comfort runs deeper. We can bring our wounds to Him, and He will tenderly bind them. He is faithful to rebuild.
Father, thank You for rebuilding from the rubble for our good and Your glory. Thank You that no circumstance is too far gone for You to bring about healing where it's desperately needed. Thank You for building us up when all we feel like doing is tumbling down. Help us to see Your hand and heart of grace rebuilding the shattered pieces of our souls. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
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)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
It's essential to notice God's activity in our lives. What are some ways you've seen God mend and rebuild from the rubble in your life, even in the smallest of ways?
We'd love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2021 by Alexandra Hoover. All rights reserved.