Sometimes it’s hard to believe in change. Hard to believe that a circumstance would ever improve, could ever improve. When years tick by and nothing changes, it’s easy to feel forgotten, invisible. While I’ve never known exile on a mass scale, I’ve known what it’s like to live removed, even in a crowd (or across a holiday table), held at arm’s length and denied admission, inclusion. When years tick by and nothing improves, it’s easy to succumb to resignation.
This book in my hands tells me God sees me. This book tells me that nothing is impossible for him. He is still at work. This is what I hold onto, even after hope rejected, even after life upended. He is still at work. After disappointment, tears, wounds, I tell myself and want to believe: he is still at work.
Looking into God’s word shows me his faithfulness and power.
- In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom. Ezra 1:1, NLT.
- Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. Ezra 1:5, NLT.
- Here is the list of the Jewish exiles of the provinces who returned from their captivity. King Nebuchadnezzar had deported them to Babylon, but now they returned to Jerusalem and the other towns in Judah where they originally lived. Ezra 2:1, NLT.
He shows me how he can stir hearts, unexpectedly, after waiting … after resignation.
He shows me how he restores.
He shows me his faithfulness again and again, fulfillment of prophecy–promises kept.
- 24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did. John 19:24, NLT.
- 28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. John 19:28-30, NLT.
- 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.) 36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and “They will look on the one they pierced.” John 19:32-37, NLT.
I read it in his word and know that he is powerful, and he is faithful. Sometimes I’m surprised, though, at what little opportunity I allow him in my life. Things so broken they seem impossible to fix. And when he stirs a heart, he shows me again and still, nothing is impossible.
Lord, thank you for so many changes you’ve brought about. I had been resigned for years that this was just what it was going to be, and you show me you’re not done yet. I’m so grateful. Thank you for seeing me, for catching tears, for desiring reconciliation so deeply that even the grave wouldn’t stop you from obtaining it.
4 responses to “Ezra 1, 2; John 19:23-42”
It’s SO awesome that our Living God is with us forever whether we’re the life of the party or alone or rejected by others. He is the ONLY One who will NEVER leave us nor forsake us. And we get to worship Him. AMEN.
@Julie, right! I know! Love. Love. Love. Amen.
Loved your post. It reminds me of the saying “hurry up and wait.” I’ve done quite a bit of waiting and then when things did change, they changed forcefully and my head was left spinning with adjustments. At the same time, it was exceedingly clear that God had been working all the time I had felt stalled and resigned to “my fate.” Thank God that He never leaves us unchanged, untouched by his grace be it when we’re treading water or when our deepest longings are being met.
God is in the business of restoration, renewal, and breathing life into dry bones! Thank God that nothing is impossible with Him; can we say and believe, ‘Amen?’