By Karen Polich
Cost Counting – Assessing the Damage
In a broken world with broken people, most of us will find ourselves participating in restoration numerous times throughout life’s many stages. – Pastor Michael Cook.
(Listen to his Restore sermon series here.)
Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem carrying God’s mission in his heart. He began to look around, finding rubble. He found so much rubble in some areas that he couldn’t even get through it. Nehemiah knew that he needed to have a solid picture of the situation before beginning to rebuild and restore. (From Nehemiah 2:11-20)
Nehemiah did something very important. He looked around and did a full assessment. When we are trying to restore and rebuild, we need to be willing to shine a light into our lives. When we search our hearts, we can assess the damage. Some areas may be worse than others. We can see what is right and whole as well as what is wrong and broken. It is not easy, but it is necessary. Pastor Michael Cook reminded us that when we are humble and broken and we take those courageous first steps in putting things back together, God has a special place in His heart for us. So often we forget that God is with us when we seek restoration in our lives.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6b
When we have been living in the rubble for too long, we can get so used to it that we begin to think it is normal. The longer we sit in the rubble, the harder it is to get started. Keep in mind that thinking about getting started and actually getting started are like night and day. Restoration cannot occur until we take those first steps and start the process. It isn’t going to get any easier by waiting. Consider it the chair of resistance; the longer we wait to get out of it, the harder the struggle.
Moving forward in restoration, brings satisfaction and excitement, but don’t forget to make allowances for the pain that will come as well. There may be those who don’t want to see you rebuild your life. Nehemiah experienced that, but He focused on God’s grace and the desire to see Jerusalem restored. We must choose to push through the pain. We must choose to shine the light of God’s love into our lives and embrace what will come when we rebuild and restore our lives.
Will you take that first step today?