Restore, repair, rebuild.

When we hear or read these words, we often associate them with hope for what is to come. When we sense this hope, it is so easy to minimise or dismiss the circumstances that came before.

You see, the prefix ‘re-‘  is used to indicate one of two things; either something occurring again, or something going back to its previous form. For this to happen, things usually have to fall apart first.

When you know the outcome of the story, it is oh-so easy to gloss over this part. We remind ourselves first of the happy ending so that the complication doesn’t feel so terrifying.

We often do this with the Bible. We know that Jesus was resurrected, so we don’t empathise with the fear Peter would have felt when denying Jesus. Or when the people of Israel questioned God and Moses when an army was chasing them after fleeing Egypt. With our 20/20 hindsight we decide that we would act differently, that we would do better if faced with the same circumstances. When time and culture separate us from these people, it’s easy to think that we would do better. After all, we do have the comfort of knowing the outcome. 

What we don’t have the outcome to is our own stories, the interweaving of stories that is occurring around us every day. We don’t know the exact outcome of every circumstance. We react to what is around us because we don’t know what path the story will take.

When you’re living through the part of the story where things fall apart, crumble, or just seem to disappear, more often than not if is terrifying. But there is more to the story. And while we may not know just what the ending is, or how we will get there, we know who is with us.

It may sound like a cliché, but in the middle of everything seeming to unravel, it can be easy to forget. To think only of the mountain before you, and forget all of the hills that have come before. It doesn’t change what you’re facing, but it does provide some perspective. While we can’t look forward and know the answers, we can look back. We have precedents to remind us of what happens after everything falls apart.

Restore, repair, rebuild.

Author: Lauren Mead

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