Destructive Restoration

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The Lord has done what He planned;
He has fulfilled his word, which He decreed long ago.
Lamentations 2:17

What is so captivating about home renovation reality tv shows? If you’ve seen one, perhaps you are just as amazed as I am at the remarkable transformation taking place in a short period of time.

As viewers, we don’t know the anticipated outcome, but the renovators do. Talented builders and designers envision something from nothing. Their plan is executed through methodical sequencing of destruction and restoration, often creating a brand new product nearly unrecognizable from the original.

In a similar fashion, the Lord has renovated my heart. First came the destruction – He stripped me of all the self-made pillars I thought were supporting my outward appearance of a well-kept life. The truth was, my infrastructure was beginning to crumble under the weight of stress in my life. I had to be remodeled from the inside out.

The Israelites, too, experienced of destructive restoration in their blessed city, Jerusalem. After many years of warnings, second chances, and grace, the Lord’s wrath wreaked havoc on the city, destroying the temple, the arc of the covenant and many lives in the process. Lamentations 2 describes the devastation: dwellings were swallowed up, the kingdom brought to the ground, laid to waste, her gates sunk into the ground, their bars broken and destroyed. aftermath to those who remained. The author writes,

My eyes fail from weeping,
    I am in torment within;
my heart is poured out on the ground
    because my people are destroyed (v. 11)

But it was through the destruction that God began His restoration project. Isaiah 61:3 describes the year of the Lord’s favor – to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

The renovation God does is more than physical change – it is spiritual, transforming hearts and the character of those who allow Him in. He wipes our tears of sadness, cleanses the filth of our sin, and breaks our chains of fear to reveal a beautifully accepted and adored creation.

It took time for the city of Jerusalem to be rebuilt just as it took time for me to work through layers of insecurity and feelings of worthlessness. It took hard work to rebuild a healthy infrastructure of confidence and value. The process was nerve-racking and scary at times, but God is seeing me through. Just as Lamentations 2:17 says, the Lord is doing what He has planned, fulfilling the word He decreed long ago.

Is there a room in your heart in need of destructive restoration?

Dear Lord,
Only you have the perfect design plans for our lives. You know just how to tear down the old and create new, lasting lives of beauty. Thank you for loving me enough to perform destructive restoration in my heart.
Amen

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2 comments on “Destructive Restoration”

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