One of the scariest things a person has to do sometimes is start over (or as the figure of speech goes, “start from scratch”)!
Perhaps things did not go well, some bad decisions with consequences… Or perhaps circumstances beyond your control, and you lost everything, and you had to start over! It may be a business… Or your profession… It may be your marriage… Or your reputation… You may have just gotten out of prison… Or a storm, a flood or a fire destroyed everything… You’re scared to death! You’ve got to start over! Will it work? Will you succeed? You’re almost afraid to try – but you must!
God’s people, Judah, had made some terrible decisions… They bore the consequences of their sin! Jerusalem was destroyed! The temple had been dismantled! The enemy, Babylon, carried off their brightest and best – everything of worth was pillaged! When Babylon was done Jerusalem itself, and the temple, the pride of the nation, was just an ugly, smoking pile of rubble! And then 70 years of exile… 70 years of neglect… 70 years of unmown grass, and rats, and ugliness!
But then God fulfilled His word and performed a miracle! After 70 years of exile Judah was headed back home! Psalm 126 (the passage I read this morning in my devotions) tells the story… describes the emotions of the people…
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream!… Our mouths were filled with laughter, and out tongue with shouts of joy! Then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them!’ The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad!”
But then reality set it… They had to “start over… they had to start from scratch!” And all they had to work with was an ugly pile of rubble! They were an agrarian people… and all they had was a bag of seed…just a bag of seed! Do you plant it (an act of faith) – or do you eat it? That’s when “starting over” gets tough! Here’s how Psalm 126 describes it…
“Restore our fortunes, O Lord! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing precious seed [just a bag], shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him!”
Hey listen, if you’ve experienced a disaster… or the consequences of sin and bad choices have destroyed your marriage or your reputation… God is faithful! He will help you start over! You’ve got to, you know! Take what little you have (and it may be very little), cry out to Him (“Restore our fortunes, O Lord!”) and begin “sowing” (even if your eyes are filled with tears and your heart with fear)! Conquer what is past with the Lord’s help and faith! I believe you’ll experience “reaping and rejoicing!” Com’on! With God’s help start over! I’m praying for someone today who is scared to death to start over… conquer your fear with faith!