Struck Down, but Not Destroyed

I interrupt my series of insights from our trip to Israel to share these thoughts from the recent storm.
Wow! Although, nothing like the destruction of a tornado, earthquake, or tsunami, isn’t it heart breaking to see the devastation left behind by the recent ice and snow storm. Limbs and branches of every size ripped from tree trunks under the enormous weight of the ice and snow. Power line poles busted off like tooth picks. Roofs damaged, rain gutters smashed, fences crushed, and in some cases cars dented. Many without electricity scrambled for generators or alternative places to stay.
The storm certainly added another dimension to the annual spring cleanup as some homeowners immediately began dragging downed branches to the curbside while others will wait for warmer days.
My heart feels sad as I reflect on the damage to God’s creation. In many cases, what took years to develop was ripped down in a matter of hours. And, although I was fortunate to have minimal damage, I feel sorry for the extra financial burden it will be for others to clean up the mess.
Well, as I was driving around community, the Holy Spirit impressed on me that the desolation on the outside of people’s homes, was in many cases a reflection of the relational, personal, and emotional damage going on inside the homes in Luverne. Although often hidden, our relationships within our homes are heavily burdened by financial debt, addictions of every kind, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, sicknesses, and disease.  Marriages and families are torn apart by every kind of sin imaginable—rebellion, selfishness, pride, greed, adultery, apathy, anger and rage.
The effects of the fall of mankind into sin are heartbreaking. And even more heartbreaking to a Pastor is that so few people know how to begin cleaning up the mess. And then in addition to ignorance, what grieves me is the number of families and individuals who choose to ignore or hide the ugliness of what’s really going on behind closed doors.
My encouragement for those of you who are tired of hiding the mess in your home; I want you to know that God is longing to redeem your painful situation. Like with Adam and Eve, he’s calling out to you right now, “Where are you?”
God has sent his Son to proclaim the good news to the poor. Jesus wants to come and bind up your broken heart and to reveal to you how you can be set free. Jesus can break your chains of bondage and set you free from the issue or person of which you’re being held captive. He wants to replace your spirit of despair with a garment of praise. He can rebuild the ruins of generational sin in your family. He longs to restore those places in your heart and in your relationships that have been devastated. Jesus is longing for you to invite him to create a pure heart, and to renew a steadfast spirit within you.
And how do I know that? Because those are all the things God has done to repair the damage in my life and in my family.  And here is the neat part, yes it will take some effort on your part, but God’s offer to bring healing and restoration to you is free. All you have to do is call. Let me encourage you, don’t wait another minute, come out of hiding, get on your knees right now and ask for help.
Struck down, but not destroyed, Mike

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