I stood in my kitchen staring out of the window as discouragement began to fill my heart. A storm had ravaged through our area just hours prior leaving behind the evidence of its fury. We really couldn’t complain; people had completely lost their entire homes, schools, and businesses that very week—and some even lost their loved ones—due to tornadoes and storms that raged across North America. Yet, we couldn’t help but feel the dull ache of disappointment as we assessed the multiple thousands of dollars of damage done to our home, roof, vehicle, and yard after the massive hail storms and high winds.
As I’m sure you already know, being hit with problems or undesirable circumstances doesn’t always warrant the emotions of hopelessness and discouragement. In fact, problems can often quickly become opportunities to rise up to the occasion, to utilize the faith in God that you have been cultivating, and to make things happen that would not have happened otherwise. Problems can become the catalyst the catapults us into bigger and better things. However, it quickly becomes difficult to keep a positive, optimistic, faith-filled stance when one problem presents itself after another; when you solve one issue just to face another one that seems insurmountable. And in the end, it’s really not the latest problem that feels like it’s going to take you out—it’s the weariness of the constant presence of what can feel like a never-ending battle. Can you relate to this?
The weariness I felt pricked a small hole in my heart for discouragement to begin flowing in. I stared through the window, lost in my thoughts, as my eyes took in all of the damage. What does one do when she doesn’t know which action to take next? It was in this moment that Holy Spirit whispered three words to me:
We will rebuild.
His words both startled and humored me a bit at first. I was startled because his soft yet resolved declaration came unprovoked by me, as I was not in prayer or conversation with Him in that exact moment; and I was humored simply because the statement seemed melodramatic in our situation compared to those who had lost everything that very week. Nonetheless, throughout the rest of the day, Holy Spirit would speak it to me over and over again.
The following morning, I awoke with the same pit in my stomach due to the events from the day prior. After having my morning devotion time with God, I walked into the kitchen and my eyes once again caught the debris that could be seen in our backyard. Before I had the chance to begin my pity party and to sulk in my growing negativity, Holy Spirit reminded me of His words once more, but this time with even more determination:
We will rebuild!
Suddenly, the lightbulb lit up in my mind. I raced to my room to change into work clothes and made my way to the garage. Finding gloves, a rake, and a broom, I decided I was going to change the view of what I saw whenever I looked outside our kitchen window. I couldn’t fix the siding, the roof, or my vehicle just yet, but I could begin the clean-up process. For three hours, I raked shredded leaves and broken sticks, I collected large branches, and I swept the patio and steps. Our garden that looked so promising before the storm now looked battered and broken. I decided to uproot what was destroyed, leave behind what remained, and plant new seeds to take the place of what didn’t survive. Although it was disheartening to see the aftereffects of the storm, I was determined that we would rebuild.
And amidst all of this activity, I knew God was teaching me a lesson much bigger than my current situation; He was teaching me a truth that I will carry out in all areas of my life from now on. You see, we will all face glitches, difficulties, and problems throughout our lifetimes; the Bible makes that clear, and that’s not really the test. The true test comes in how we choose to respond to these difficulties. God has already warned us that we will face trials, but He is not interested solely in our survival of the hard times—He’s more interested in how our character is developed through it, the level of maturity in which we respond, and our determination to keep our focus and full trust in Him even when we don’t understand why something so painful happened to us.
I don’t know what is it that you may be facing today, but God has brought you here to tell you that it’s time to rebuild. Maybe you have faced a literal storm like us and are left among the debris—it’s time to build. Maybe you feel lost in the shambles of a divorce or a broken relationship with someone you love—it’s time to rebuild. For those who have had a love one pass away and you are trying to figure out what life looks like after death—it’s time to rebuild with God. Some of you may possibly be facing the loss of a job, career, or business—it’s time to rebuild. For those who have found themselves in a financial crisis—it’s time to rebuild. If choices you have made or lifestyles you have chosen have caused undesirable results in your life—it’s time to rebuild.
Your rebuild likely won’t involve gloves, a rake, and a broom, but they will all involve the leading of Holy Spirit. Had He not whispered to me in my discouragement, reaching out to me at the climax of all of the difficulties I was facing at once in that moment, I would likely have remained in the debris—the physical debris, yes, but also the emotional and spiritual debris of discouragement and self-pity. My rebuild didn’t happen completely overnight (in fact, I’m still in the middle of it), and it’s likely that yours might not either; but it will never happen if you don’t take that first step.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”
If you feel God calling you to a time of rebuilding in any area of your life, begin by seeking Him through reading His Word, praying, and worshipping Him. It is through these times that His Spirit can easily speak to us. Ask Him what these next steps look like for you, and when you get a directive—take action. And always remember: just like in any rebuilding, the latter may not exactly resemble the former—and know that this is okay. Our situations are not a surprise to God, and He still has the unique, precious and amazing plan for your life that He always has; but in order to discover what that is, you must choose to rebuild.