In this last year, we have all travailed in one way or another. Storms have been raging in our lives and in our nation.
I don't know about you, but it seemed like it was one hurdle after another.
And sometimes, there was not even a long enough moment to catch my breath before the next trial was knocking at the front door.
Trials can sound small to a listening ear, yet it is like climbing a mountain for the person who is actually walking through it.
My question is this: Have we allowed our trials to tear us apart and define us more than allowing our very Creator to invade our hearts to receive His promises of restoration?
I have lost a lot throughout my life. I have shared a bit about grief, my broken family, and more recently, an entire year battling postpartum depression.
I experienced anxiety so crippling I couldn't find enough peace to leave my house.
My depression isolated me, and then the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns secured that isolation. That brought on even more anxiety and a sure delay to a hopeful breakthrough, mentally and emotionally.
Thankfully, I had some close family and friends to reach out to, and ask for advice and prayer.
Every conversation I had was a relief because I was able to share my heart and receive prayer.
Throughout my sharing, I would suddenly and consistently get interrupted with this thought that went something like this, “What I am going through isn't that hard because I don't have it as bad as everyone else right now.”
And as I truly do desire to be sensitive to what others are going through; and there may have been some discernment and wisdom in that thought, I still was struggling.
One day while I was in prayer, Holy Spirit invaded my heart and kindly reminded me that God still cared about what I had lost too!
What mattered to me, mattered to Him.
Every time we fall, God lifts us up. He restores broken hearts and He heals our hurt.
1 Peter 5:10 says, “And then, after your brief suffering, the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up.”
As long or hard as our trials can seem to be, we must remember to not let our hearts become hardened or full of pride.
A hardened heart could wreck everything God desires to restore within us.
When we are at our lowest we must look up to the Highest!
Focusing on God’s promises to restore us silences every defeating voice.
God will never leave us broken. It is through the breaking that he tills and plows our soil. Then, He replants something greater, and all that once was lost, is suddenly made whole.
As the body of Christ, we must continually strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace, so that the God of love and peace can be within us. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
Friends, I think it is an important time to press pause.
We are entering into a new season and are seeing an overload of acceleration. It is time for us to prioritize, discern, and remember the importance to enter into a place of rest so that we can receive God’s full restoration.
Restoration is not an event. It is a continuous unfolding happening within our souls.
What does that look like, you may ask?
Spend time in His presence. Linger in it. Approach His alter without a request. Let our great God show you the blueprint plans He has arranged for your destiny.
And last but not least, simply worship who HE IS.
God can restore what the world cannot.
~ Stefanie Rodriguez