Grace Promises We Can Always Begin Again
“Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.” Ezra 1:5
As you reflect on the previous year, do you find yourself longing for a do-over?
At a midweek prayer service years ago, I heard sniffling behind me and turned to find a woman crying. Her son was in his senior year and she felt as if she’d lost him. We prayed, hugged, then she left, determined to do whatever it took to regain her son
Six months later, she returned and once again sat in the pew behind us. After service, I asked how things were with her son. She smiled and shared instances sit-down dinners, quality time with her son, and clearly defined boundaries.
She'd received her do-over.
Clearly she couldn't go back and undo the previous seventeen years, but by determining to start fresh, at that moment, she salvaged what was left of her son's last year at home and paved the way for years to come.
Her story reminds me of an Old Testament story. The Israelites returned to Jerusalem after seventy years of exile. The journey was difficult, costly and long. When they arrived, they found their beloved city in ruins. Yet, despite the difficult task and the discouraging circumstances, God called them to persevere, and begin anew. He told them to rebuild the temple that had been reduced to rubble.
Like the story of the mother I shared with you, the Israelites were given a chance to start anew, but this wasn’t easy. In fact, opposition became so great, the building ceased for an entire year.
But ... God showed up and reignited their resolve.
Change never comes easy, and stepping forward in faith can feel like a battle. But no matter how difficult the journey, God calls us to keep on keeping on. And the beauty of the gospel is that each day, we’ve been given the opportunity to begin again.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, iBelieve is a multi-published author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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