Monday, November 07, 2005

Restoration (Part 1)

What I'm listening to: Tenth Hour Calling

I've been broken and beaten down. In many ways, over many years. By many people.

Mostly, I've just never dealt with the brokeness. Time has done well to heal some wounds, but never have I taken time to confront the hurt head on, to open it and exposed the wound so it could heal. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was out of unconscious need to squelch that hurt, perhaps it was I didn't think it was necessary.

But I have a feeling it was because of my fear of what might be exposed.

To have our pain exposed - to one person or the whole world - is nothing anyone seeks out. Our culture has taught us vulnerability = weakness and those who feel pain simply don't know how to handle the real world.

Was I afraid of being weak? I think so. But I was more concerned to acquiesce the status quo, accepting pain wasn't an option,and in doing so, I wouldn't be weak. That somehow ignoring it would make me stronger.

When God became man, walked the earth, what was it for? I'd always been taught it was to save the lost. The bridge the gap, created by our sin, between us and him. To enable me to stand before him completely justified, sinless. His blood does that for me.

But what about the rest? I've been rescued. That's what the work of the cross was did. But was that all? When Paul encountered God on the road to Damascus, did God rescue him only to let him lie in the road? No. He sent Ananias to restore Paul. To heal him.

Why should it be any different for us? A loving father wouldn't rescue his daughter from drowning only to leave her by the side of the pool. God's plan of salvation is more than just saving my soul. It's about restoring it.

Isaiah 61: 1-6
Announce Freedom to All Captives
The Spirit of GOD, the Master, is on me
because GOD anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners.
GOD sent me to announce the year of his grace--
a celebration of God's destruction of our enemies--
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness"
planted by GOD to display his glory.
They'll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They'll start over on the ruined cities,
take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You'll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
and foreigners to work your fields,
But you'll have the title "Priests of GOD,"
honored as ministers of our God.
You'll feast on the bounty of nations,
you'll bask in their glory.

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