When we were in Chicago in April, we took a bus tour. When we got to a certain part of town the guide told the story of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 – the fire that burned down basically the entire city of Chicago.
As the clean up after the fire began, there was so much rubble, so much trash and residue from burned homes and buildings, that the people didn’t know how to begin to clean it up. They decided to just start pushing it all into Lake Michigan.
They did this over and over until it was cleaned up and, eventually, the garbage compacted and built up to form land that could be built on. As we rode along the guide said, “Had we been here before the fire, we would be in the lake right now. Now, you look around and you see all these shiny new buildings, but underneath, they’re built on broken hearts, lost dreams, and lost homes.”
The second he said this it resonated in my Spirit. Isn’t that so like my life? You may look at me and see someone who seems to be put together, shiny and new, but if you could see underneath, you would see that this new me is built on crushed dreams, broken hearts, loss, and pain.
So often, we look at people and think “Wow, they really have it together. They must have such a wonderful life.” But if we could only see underneath, if we could only see before the reconstruction. Everyone has experienced loss of some form, everyone has dealt with a broken dream or heart, it’s what we do with those losses that forms the people we become.
When I lost my parents, I could have allowed it to harden me and turn me against God, but instead, it caused me to run to Him like I never had. When people that I thought loved me and were there for me completely deserted me, I could have allowed that to harden me against love and relationships forever, instead, I have learned the importance and value of true relationships.
If you look at me and think, “Wow, she loves and trusts God so much,” It is because there have been so many times in my life when I have had no choice. And now I’ve learned that, even if there are other options, Jesus is still the best decision. If you see someone whole and joyful, it’s because you’re looking at someone who knows the deepest pain and hurt.
As you look at others and think they must have never been through anything or known pain or loss, take a moment to remember that those who appreciate the love, peace, and presence of God more than some likely do so because they know how terrible it is to be without Him.
Think of your story today. Have you rebuilt yet or are you still under reconstruction? What is the new you built on? Allow the let downs and tragedies of your life to be the foundation upon which the new you is built. Do not be buried beneath the rubble, rise from the Rubble and sing a rebel song!
Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19 (AMP)
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Forever; I choose Jesus.
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