Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ripples of Restoration

Recently Jesse and Hannah had some issues with each other. They became frustrated and said things that were much better left unsaid. I separated them for a while and then brought Hannah into my room first to talk to her.

I explained to her why, according to scripture, what she had done was so wrong and how it was as if she had done what she did to Jesus. I asked to her to go in her room and think about things and then confess to the Lord what she had done wrong. I shared with her that after she had confessed to the Lord, she needed to go to Jesse and confess to him what she had done wrong. She seemed to be tracking with me pretty well until I got to the part about confessing to Jesse. Upon hearing what she must do in regards to him she sighed, slumped her shoulders and said...

"Ugh! That is the hardest part!"

I struggled to suppress a laugh and let the truth of her words sink in. Confessing to the Lord, while not always easy, seemed like a piece of cake compared to having to confess to another living, breathing human-being that what was said to them was totally unacceptable. What a portrait of the tension we must experience on a daily basis should we choose to keep short accounts with each other and walk in unity.

When we came to the church where Tim is now the lead pastor, they had been shepherd-less for almost a year. There were a group of pastors who had done as great a job as possible to hold things together, but they had been operating in crisis management for much of the time. The people were starved for someone to come in and take a strong leadership role and remind them of the truth of His Word and what is really important.

Tim has talked to them a lot these last few weeks about transformation in their own lives and the need to take personal responsibility for their words and actions. While these can be hard truths to digest and truths even harder to incorporate into our own lives, we are seeing pockets of people embrace these truths and choose to walk out the evidence of them in their daily lives.

We are seeing ripples of restoration start to take place!!

People are taking responsibility for their "stuff"! They are going to each other in humility and confessing to each other and asking for forgiveness! They are choosing to walk in truth no matter how difficult it may be and they are not allowing their pride to keep them from obeying what they have so clearly seen in scripture! Not only is confession being walked out, but there is forgiveness being extended. Those who have been wronged are extending grace out of the overflow of grace they themselves have received from the Lord and relationships are being healed!

It is a beautiful thing to witness the Body doing what the Body knows is the right thing to do!! It's a beautiful thing to watch walls come down and brothers and sister begin to link arms again in unity of the Spirit!

Lord, thank You for people who are embracing the truth of Your Word and choosing to confess their wrong-doings to each other. Thank You for people who are willing to lay aside their hurts and extend forgiveness to those who have wronged them. Thank you for the ripples of restoration we are seeing take place and for the promise of healing and strength in the Body as a result of walking in obedience to the truth of Your Word, no matter how humbling it may be!

Matthew 5:9 ~ "You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family."

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