“Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people.” Ezra 3:12-13a
I have fond childhood memories. I was blessed with the best. I went to the best schools, lived in the best neighborhoods with the best views and I had the best circle of friends.
Early adulthood added to this fairy tale life: job offers before I graduated, training opportunities, a promotion in record time, a home owner as a single parent during an economic down turn and realized the dream became an entrepreneur.
I journeyed up this hill of success and splendor, but the picture of divine purpose became obscure and my foot slipped. I fell face first and came sliding down that hill.
What I described as success and splendor, quickly turned to defeat and despair. I lost everything.
I cried out to God in hurt. I was angry and filled with resentment. How could you do this to me God? What will people say?
As I reflected, I realized that I lost sight of God-purpose and started focusing on tangible gains. For months I tried to find my own way. Finally, I stopped and asked - GOD, WHAT NEXT?
Sometimes as we look through the binoculars of life we lose focus and the picture of our Jeremiah 29:11 plan becomes blurry and God has to step in, readjust the lens and refine the picture. For David it took the wilderness, for Jonah it was a whale, for Saul it was a road, For me it was a drastic lifestyle change.
It was time to rebuild.
When the foundation of the second temple was laid in the book of Ezra Chapter 3 it says that many of the priests and the Levites and the old men who had seen the first temple wept with a loud voice, while many shouted for joy.
I had to decide - which one am I?
Am I mourning over what I lost, or concentrating on what I was rebuilding?
Am I crying over the memory of what I had, or celebrating the strides I have made?
Am I lamenting over who I was, or rejoicing about the new and improved me?
For a while, I was just like the old men in Ezra, weeping, as I remembered the past, but I had an ‘Epiphany moment’. The days for living out my own will were over!
Today I want to encourage you, as I encourage myself.
It is time to Recover, Revive and Rebuild.
I don't know what life changes you may be going through. It may be the loss of a job, divorce, business failure, no matter what it is, there is hope
God is using your face-first fall to exalt you to a higher place in Him. Your former limitations will be the spring board to your enlarged territory, your failed exploits will be the beginning point of future success and every closed door will be the starting gate to countless opportunities.
Every human-perceived end is a God ordained beginning.