Restore, Renew, Rebuild
When life seems to be falling apart around us, how do we pick up the pieces and start again? Recently inspired by Spring Harvest 2022, Debbie Martin, our Children and Families Minister, shares how we can be inspired by Nehemiah in the Old Testament.
I had the joy of attending Spring Harvest a few weeks ago. This was the first in person event since the pandemic and it was amazing to be back in person. The theme was Restore, Renew, Rebuild, based on the life of Nehemiah, and the mission of Jesus. Christians from across the country and of different denominations meeting together to worship, it was incredible.
I thought I would share some of what we heard and encountered there and how it speaks to us today.
Nehemiah is a beautiful and exciting story of God rebuilding ruins, and in doing so restoring the confidence of the people of God and renewing their faith in him. It was not easy, as some people mocked Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the wall. They went out of their way to cause disruption.
There is much more to the story, than the building of a wall. Lots of preparation, people, plans and the bricks, just to give a little context of the enormity of the task Nehemiah faced.
I am sure we have all in our lives had to build new things out of what we perceived to be ruins. Life can give us a curve-ball and everything we thought we knew, or more importantly thought we were in control of, can suddenly be taken from us. This could be a job, a career, a marriage, the loss of a loved one, suddenly having no financial security, the list is different for each one of us. Nonetheless, just like Nehemiah, God calls us to restore, renew and rebuild.
This can seem a mammoth task when life feels, just like a wall, crumbling around us. It is ok to question why things happen to us, in fact, I believe God expects us to. He understands our humanness, our fragility, our questions, and our anger. We can go to God with all that we are, all that we have, all that we need to restore, renew and rebuild. The components of the process can be complex and emotional, just like the challenges Nehemiah faced. Some people may hinder our rebuilding, just like the people who mocked the rebuilding of the wall. Nehemiah prayed, trusted and obeyed God and completed the rebuilding of the wall. Jesus wants to help us with all our rubble whatever it is, all we have to do is ask, in prayer, be willing to listen and obey. It isn’t easy, changing, restoring, rebuilding, but it gives us an opportunity to reassess what God wants for each of us. A challenge to live differently, to renew, restore and rebuild.
Jesus brings beauty from ashes, hope from despair, healing and hope from the most broken, messed-up and messy situations. Jesus practises resurrection with the rubble.
Have a great week, Debbie, Children & Families Minister
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