Opposition to Rebuilding
Open Your Bible
Ezra 4:1-23, Lamentations 3:55-60, Matthew 5:10-12
Scripture Reading: Ezra 4:1-23, Lamentations 3:55-60, Matthew 5:10-12
I’ve done a lot of moving in my life. Fourteen homes in seventeen years. Many of those transitions were exciting and happy and smooth. Other times, it felt like every detail that could go wrong did. Turmoil, opposition, and even betrayal sometimes mark new seasons of our lives. I’m not the only one who’s had times when the old “you just can’t make this stuff up” trope rang true as moving difficulties and red tape difficulties and relational difficulties fueled fearfulness and frustration.
During my seasons of transition when things weren’t smooth, I found myself asking, “Why, God? Did we do something wrong? Shouldn’t this be easier?” Whether or not you’ve moved every 1.2 years or not, I’m sure you have asked those questions about your own circumstances.
What a comfort it is to read through the book of Ezra and remember that God’s people experienced the “you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up/shouldn’t-this-be-easier” moments as they went about rebuilding the temple and the city and their lives.
Reading Ezra 4:4 is like having a fuzzy blanket thrown over your shoulders—a comfort! God’s people, 2,400+ years ago, experienced discouragement as they returned and rebuilt, and it made them afraid.
Man, oh man, can I relate. Conflicts, small and large, can send me spiraling into fear and unhelpful questions. But it doesn’t have to. Regardless of our circumstances, Jesus tells us we can rejoice in the midst of suffering, pain, loss, and even persecution (Matthew 5:10–12). That is because we live with souls that hope for eternity! We have a better, truer home coming. A deeper, purer hope. Those who have been rescued by Jesus Christ are loved by the God who provides and sees and cares about the things that hurt us.
No matter how rocky my seasons of transition have been, the Lord has always been with me—encouraging, loving, and providing. For His children, God restores what’s broken. He rebuilds what falls apart.
It’s striking every time. Every time my plans and expectations crumble, I’m humbled and reminded of how much I need the Lord and other people. As you live out this day that God has called you to, as you build or rebuild and seek His plan, keep your chin up toward Jesus’s face, and don’t allow the brokenness of this world to send you into fear. God has a plan for your life, and there is no job or financial or interpersonal crisis that can thwart His good plans for your life. He will always get the glory. And when we seek to exalt Him, we will always get the joy.
Written by Scarlet Hiltibidal