Demolition or Restoration?
A couple of weeks before the start of 2017, I was praying about some circumstances on my way to work. It was one of those fervent, desperate types of prayers. I looked over and saw right in front of me a big white truck, upon which was written, “Restoration. Recovery. Reconstruction.” I felt in my spirit that God was saying that this is the work he is doing in my life and in my circumstances. Over the next couple of weeks, my excitement and anticipation grew as I began to hear many confirming words that 2017 is to be a year of restoration, a year of recovery and a year of rebuilding. Every word brought me greater hope and confidence that my life was on the mend! Everything was coming together.
What actually happened in the months that followed was not something I was prepared for. Instead of coming together, things in every aspect of life seemed to unravel and began falling apart. My life was stripped bare and I found myself alone with the Lord. Standing in the mess of a pile of broken pieces, I asked God, “What is happening in my life?” Did I not hear you correctly? Wasn’t this supposed to be my year of restoration? I was determined to continue trusting God’s process, even though I honestly couldn’t make sense of my world or what was going on around me.
Around the same time, I started watching the show Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna Gaines are a wonderful couple with their own home remodeling and renovation business. In each episode, they help prospective buyers pick out their own fixer upper home and in the weeks that follow, the Gaines couple transform something once run-down into something breathtakingly beautiful. I noticed something though. The first step of the remodeling process always involves demolition. Walls are torn down. Floors are broken apart to reveal what’s rotting and decaying underneath. Structures are gutted, in order that new ones can be formed. I realized that what feels like life crumbling apart is really only the first step in the restoration process. God is not going to build something new on a foundation that is faulty. He won’t build something new without first exposing and removing what is rotten underneath. As it says in Mark 2:22, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”
If you find yourself in a season where life seems to be falling apart, is it possible that God is building a new foundation? Could it be that things are falling apart so that God could put your life back together? Rest assured. When God restores things in our lives, He makes them better than new! No matter what stage of the process we find ourselves in, we can know that God’s will is to always bring about restoration in our lives.
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.
17 Soon your descendants will come back,
and all who are trying to destroy you will go away.
18 Look around you and see,
for all your children will come back to you.
As surely as I live,” says the Lord,
“they will be like jewels or bridal ornaments for you to display.
19 “Even the most desolate parts of your abandoned land
will soon be crowded with your people.
Your enemies who enslaved you
will be far away.
20 The generations born in exile will return and say,
‘We need more room! It’s crowded here!’
21 Then you will think to yourself,
‘Who has given me all these descendants?
For most of my children were killed,
and the rest were carried away into exile.
I was left here all alone.
Where did all these people come from?
Who bore these children?
Who raised them for me?’”
22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I will give a signal to the godless nations.
They will carry your little sons back to you in their arms;
they will bring your daughters on their shoulders.
23 Kings and queens will serve you
and care for all your needs.
They will bow to the earth before you
and lick the dust from your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.
Those who trust in me will never be put to shame.” (Isa. 49:16-23)