Friday, February 29, 2008

Husbands, Hurricanes, Heartaches and Happiness

I have a really good friend. Her life hasn't been easy. She has faced a lot of challenges and heartbreaks. Here's one example:

Her husband was dying from prostate cancer. He was already under hospice at home. Meanwhile a hurricane was predicted to come thru her town. At or about 5 AM one morning her husband went to heaven. At or about 5 PM the SAME day the hurricane struck with all its fury and blew a huge oak tree over on her house crashing through the roof and literally destroying the house.

Now if anyone would have reason for a "pity party," my guess is that she would qualify - especially that day!

Do you know what she said? She said, "Well, I'm so glad God took Curt home first before the tree crashed into the house so we didn't have to try to move Curt in the hurricane." Later she said, "In the same day I lost my husband and my house, and I'm still standing and still smiling."

Now, what is her problem? If anyone had a reason to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over her head, seems like she did. What made the difference? Why didn't she respond by crashing or hiding? Why didn't she blame God for two "terrible" things happening to her all in the same day?

She has discovered a wonderful truth: God doesn't take hard times away or keep them from happening. God doesn't always fix broken stuff like husbands dying or even broken houses. Sometimes God leaves us to live with broken circumstances. WHY?

Isn't God powerful enough and good enough to take care of the broken stuff in life? Yes, He is! He is both powerful and very, very good. The truth is that God's goodness doesn't always feel or look good when we're living in the broken places in life.

The deal is that God cares more about restoring hearts than he does about fixing husbands or houses. God wants to restore my heart so I can live with Him forever. Sometimes that process is very painful because it involves letting go of the things I depend on for security and comfort. It involves turning to God alone. It means dying to all the things I think are important. It is then that God can demonstrate His restoration of my heart both to me and to the watching world!

God didn't fix Susan's husband (until he got to heaven) or her house. But God did fix Susan's heart, and that's a process that is still happening. God is still working on restoring Susan's heart. God is still working on restoring my heart!

God wants to work on restoring your heart, too. At A Restoration Church we care about the broken things in your life. We would like to walk with you through the process of God's restoration!

The Apostle Paul wrote, "Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It all started when God said, 'Light up the darkness!' and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful."

"If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. ... So, we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life (restoration), not a day goes by without his unfolding grace." (2 Corinthians 4:5-9, 16 - The Message)

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