“God is the God of second chances, new beginnings, fresh starts”—I am sure you have
heard others say something to this effect. Perhaps you have said it yourself. We (Dwaina and I) just finished remodeling our bathroom. Before we could go in with the remodel we had to tear out what was going to be replaced. In other words, destruction had to precede renovation. The new bathroom looks very different than the outgoing one.
This is what God said He would do with His beloved Israel. And that is exactly what He
did. He stated the process this way in Jeremiah 31:27-28, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast. 28 As I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to overthrow, to destroy and to bring to disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the Lord. Two important details about this statement from God—“I have watched over them,” and, “I will watch over them.”
Through everything that they experienced God NEVER stopped watching over them! They planted new seeds in new fields. They used different animals. They built new city walls that didn’t follow the same pattern as the walls of old. They build a new temple that wasn’t exactly like the previous temple. Some lamented and some rejoiced.
For a short period of time the world was forced to stop. A pandemic at least brought the pace of our world to a “snail’s pace.” The economy plummeted as the jobless rate soared. Even the normal activities of church life were dramatically affected! We were forced to do things differently, and we did it! No matter who you point the fingers at to blame (some blame China, some blame Satan, some blame Christians, and some blame God), but one thing you can rest assured in is that God has been watching over all of this!
Church, going forward we will need to lean on our God and His Word for direction, wisdom, strength, and comfort. Church life will not quickly bounce back to “normal,” and you can fully expect to see some type of new normal. We will not look like or operate the same way we used to. This information is not just coming from my own thoughts, these are expressions gleaned from national surveys, but we will be affected.
I don’t mind telling you I am excited about the days ahead! Because I know that God’s heart is for His church. He has been watching over us, and He will watch over us and use us to build and plant. May our chief aim be to please Him in whatever we do (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).