To Repair And Restore

There is a people who seek God day by day and delight to know His ways and yet whose streets are broken up. They have done righteousness and have not forsaken God’s ordinances, and yet their walls are tumbling down. They pray for justice and yet the foundations are shaken; they also delight in the nearness of God and yet the church is close to ruin. Perhaps they fast, perhaps they pray. Perhaps they mourn and they may humbly cry out, and yet they travel a valley that seems to have no end.

But in the day of mourning and prayer, they still pursue their own way and seek their own pleasure. As walls fall, they still find their own desire.

What a simple temptation, what a subtle temptation: to find my own desire. Did God tell me how to retire, or did I find that way myself? Has God told me what to do with my retirement, and am I engaged with that invitation? Perhaps I seek to mentor the youth in the congregation of my church, but am I loving those youth I am concerned about? Am I loving the youth who have not yet chosen responsibilities? Are any young people receiving that love?

My life is a sabbath by the work of my Lord, and in this sabbath I may turn with delight and honor this lifelong day which belongs to Him from beginning to end: I may choose those choices I hear from Him, fasting of my own retirement while receiving that retirement He has prepared for me. I may rejoice in God every time complaint over man is found before me. And I may love the people that God chooses for me to love, those He puts in my path so that they obstruct my way and interrupt my plans, but who need my care and joy and peace.

And so I fast of my plans as I feast on the love; I bring you to this banqueting table overflowing with faithfulness and gentleness and kindness. Perhaps I spent my life planning for the last twenty years; let me listen to God so that I may hand those plans to Him, “Here Lord, here is my retirement, do with it as You will.” Do I believe that recovery will speedily spring forth? Do I believe that righteousness will go before me? Do I believe that in my later days I will ride on the heights of the earth? I may believe this, and an entire congregation may believe this.

This sabbath day that we live is delightful: there is joy at dawn, peace at midday, and faithfulness at dusk.

May my fasting be a giving: time and money and energy, given much and enjoyed as they are given. God is not asking me to abstain, He is calling me to give. I have never been able to give you more than He gives me; I give 5 loaves and two fish and when I turn again I find a basket full waiting for me. It is up to Him if five thousand have been fed.

Jesus, what would you have me to do today: at twenty, at forty, at sixty, and at eighty? With Him we can restore streets and raise up foundations.



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