Chaplain’s Corner; October 2019

Rebuilding the Ruins

{Isaiah 61:4; Amos 9:14; Luke 4:18; Acts 15:16, 17}

Well, the first day of the Fall season has come at last. This is a season of much change as the temperatures, leaves, weather, and clothing needs all change. It’s time to get out the sweaters and coats again to prepare for the coming winter. But really all of life is filled with constant change. Sometimes we notice that it comes quickly and sometimes it comes so gradually that we don’t even notice it. But change comes, nevertheless. And, it comes whether we want it or not or whether we like it or not.

Friendship Village is in the midst of change. But that is nothing new here. We have experienced change many times in our 45-year history. We need to remember that the Lord has never abandoned us or this community we call home. And He never will. I found this story to illustrate just why, perhaps, that is.

As we walked to a ruin that lay alone and abandoned in the desert sand the teacher said, “Imagine, standing amid ruins extending as far as you could see. So, it was in the land of Israel after the armies of Rome had laid it waste. And in the ages since then it was said that God was finished with the Jewish people. But the words of the prophets recorded a promise: in the latter days God would gather the Jewish people from the ends of the earth back to the land of Israel. When they returned there, it was prophesied that they would ‘rebuild the ancient ruins. They shall raise up the former desolations. And they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.’ And the words of the ancient prophecies would come true. The Jewish people were gathered back from the nations to their ancient ruins. What revelation does this give us?”

“The Word of God is true.” I said. “Yes,” said the teacher, “and something else. After centuries of rebellion, it would have been easier for God to have ended His dealings with them and to have chosen another people. But He chose instead to restore the destroyed, rebuild the ruins, and raise up His fallen nation. He chose to heal the broken, to take the scattered pieces of His fallen nation and put them back together, one by one, piece by broken piece. Why is that? It’s because when you love something, and that something breaks, you don’t just abandon it, you put it back together, piece by piece… so with the nation Israel… and so with us also. Israel is a sign to all people, a picture of God’s redemption for all who will receive it. And what is that redemption? It’s the restoring of what was broken. He doesn’t abandon us in our sins. He doesn’t’ just give up on us in our fallen and broken state. Instead, He rebuilds the ruins. He takes the broken pieces of our lives, of our mistakes, and puts them back together, piece by piece. Just as God has done for us, so we must do the same for those who have fallen and to that which is broken. For when you love something, and it breaks… you do not abandon it. You put it back together… piece by broken piece.”

Is there something broken that you have abandoned or have given up on? I urge you to stay encouraged and do not give up on what you love, is broken, or at least seems broken.

Pray for its redemption and, if you can, be part of the solution by helping to put it back together in God’s love. Through it all we must endeavor to stay encouraged. That is tough to do sometimes to be sure. But we must keep faith in our Lord to know that He WILL bring us through the storms of change safely.

“Faith is not believing that God can but, knowing God will.”

Pastor Gary