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Monday, August 18, 2008

All Things New

On a recent trip to Charleston, North Carolina my husband and I celebrated our 30th anniversary. We had some friends who recently visited that area and came back so thrilled to tell us about the wonderful time they had, so we decided to go ourselves. It really is a beautiful and very historic town. After getting settled in our hotel, we immediately went to the concierge to begin planning our schedule for the week. We were anxious to make the most of our time, and try and see as many of the wonderful sites Charleston has to offer. On our first tour we rode in a horse drawn carriage through the narrow cobblestone streets. There we saw mansion after mansion, and so many churches. It felt like we had traveled back in time and was reliving history as we viewed and visited these stunning places.

Founded in 1670 by English colonists, this 300-year-old port city was once considered the cultural center of the New World. The city has survived earthquakes, fire, war, tornado's, and hurricanes. The city and most of the antebellum buildings have been restored to their pre-revolutionary and pre-civil war splendor. Can you imagine what a wonderful a place this city must have been?

As we were touring these amazing sites, our guide told us so many fascinating stories about the American Revolution and the War Between the States. We even attended a church service at St. Philip’s, one of America's oldest churches. It is so amazing to witness how these places are still standing for us to still enjoy the beauty and ambiance of a city that once flourished in colonial America.

Many times throughout my personal journey in life I have felt like those buildings. Through the earthquakes when everything seemed to be falling down, in hurricanes of emotions, and fighting spiritual warfare on every side, I've witnessed God’s mighty hand upon my life. Many times I was not sure the house would even be able to stand. Yet looking back after all the dust had settled, I was amazed to see how I survived!

I have learned that no matter how great the trouble, God's divine purpose and plans will still be fulfilled in the lives of those who steadfastly trust in Him. Isn't it wonderful to know how much God can accomplish when we are willing to patiently endure until He brings us to victory.

As we listened to story after story about this amazingly resilient town sitting on the Atlantic Ocean, I was reminded of a promise God once made to Israel:

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten-the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm-My great army that I sent among you. - (Joel 2:25)

Just as God was able to bring restoration to the nation of Israel after a time of famine and devastation, he can do the same for us today. What I am most sure of now is that God even uses all of our mistakes for his glory. He can take the broken and battered pieces of our lives and restore them back to something of beauty and grace.

God truly is in the business of restoration.

He promises not only to restore what has been lost but even more to replenish what was lost. Not a bad deal wouldn’t you agree? He truly does all things well when it comes to lives of those who he loves and who love him in return.

I’d like to conclude with an exhortation from Paul which he wrote to the church at Philippi:

"Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus". (Philippians 3:13-14).

Oh, what a blessing these words continue to be for our journey. Don’t look back ladies, and never loose sight of your deliverer. God will truly restore and rebuild our lives for His glory and honor, and all those who pass by will look in amazement at the wonderful workmanship of our God. We are a city set upon a hill, a beautiful light in a dark and dying world.

Something to ponder:

I ask you today, will you allow God to work in your life to restore, rebuild and make all things new?

Can you remember a season in your life that God used to show you He was there although you felt devastation or famine?

Join Susan daily at her personal blog,

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Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

Amen. God is so good at taking our mess and making it into something wonderful if we just allow Him too. I'm pressing on sister.
Have a great week.

August 18, 2008 at 5:21 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Beautiful, so beautiful.

August 18, 2008 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Smelling Coffee said...

What a beautiful picture of God's faithfulness! I, too, have felt like those buildings. And, through the Strength and mercy the Lord, I continue to stand with Him today. He is so good!

August 18, 2008 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I am so thankful that God renews and restores. So glad He can take my mistakes and bring glory out of the mess.

So thankful for the words you shared here today, Susan!

August 18, 2008 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger lori said...

You know I lived in S.C. for awhile and the visual you gave me today was perfect...
I LOVE this devo!!

God restores us...makes us SHINE on from the MESS we once were..
How cool is that??

Love you girl!

August 18, 2008 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

It is something I work on quite a bit. I try to Let go and Let God. It is not easy for me as this point. Thanks for your writings. Cindi

August 18, 2008 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Starr said...

I really needed that today! Thanks so much!! I am in the midst of some difficult changes and I am appreciative of your reminder that God WILL restore!!

August 18, 2008 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Oh Susan---what a good post! I have been in the place of devastation in the past...and He "restored my soul"...I know many who have been there as well...this was SOOOO good!

August 18, 2008 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Oh Susan---what a good post! I have been in the place of devastation in the past...and He "restored my soul"...I know many who have been there as well...this was SOOOO good!

August 18, 2008 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

God has restored me over and over again. Beautiful message.

August 19, 2008 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

What an excellent analogy! Thank you, Susan.

Charleston, SC is one of my favorite places to visit - hubby and I have been there 3 or 4 times. I just never tire of it.

August 19, 2008 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger Tiffany Stuart said...

Oh, how I relate to your story of earthquakes in your life. And I also relate to His restoring power. The scripture in Joel means so much to me as I reflect on how God is restoring the years in my life.

Thanks for sharing your trip and relating it to our lives.

Great! See you are a writer.


Hugs from Colorado,

August 22, 2008 at 1:04 PM  

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