Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law. Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it. —Ezra 10:3-4, NIV
Here in this passage, the people of Israel, after returning to rebuild Jerusalem, are focusing on restoring religious practices; which is the theme of Ezra. After much personal repentance, the elders commit to Ezra’s desire to keep the Hebrews from intermarrying with those people around them. After so many years in exile, a banished people are looking to reform, not only their homes but their hearts. They want to reestablish a connection to the Lord their ancestors had turned away from. They wanted to be restored to their identity as God’s faithful children.
The fear I’ve experienced in recent days, as a result of an unstable situation, has caused me to start to wonder if God cares what our relationship “status” is. The anxiety made me think He is just fine with being distant because I’ve gone and put myself in a situation He doesn’t approve of. I have prayed and prayed and prayed He would resolve my circumstances, but the fear that He wasn’t doing anything never left me.
It was in the middle of my fear that my true need was met. I needed this situation taken out of my hands, but there was a deeper desire I wasn’t realizing. I missed out on my need to be restored in God’s presence. It wasn’t until, like Ezra, I poured out my heart with full emotion that I found the answer. I needed healing and until I let God into my pain and fear, I wasn’t able to remember that He and I had a deal.
God’s part is to care for me, in the most profound and intimate ways. My part is to cast the circumstances and emotion of my life onto Him.
It is in the middle of what feels like the ruins of your life that God does His most significant works of restoration. Time and time again in Scripture, He proves He cares about His children – down to the very last detail of their lives.
Restoration is about meeting the deep needs – not necessarily what we might think we need at the time. That’s the hard part of faith – restoration requires surrender to what the Lord thinks is best. That’s where we will find relief from the fears that pile on. But when we seek it (and Him) we will find exactly what we need.
What deep needs do you have that only the Lord can restore to right?
Heavenly Father – Thank You for the understanding where I am. I am so grateful that You will meet me wherever I am, healthy and whole or broken and contrite. I am fearful of my circumstances, but I want You to restore my soul no matter what happens. I commit my life to Your Hands and trust You with all of my circumstances. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Further Reading: Ezra 9, Psalm 23, Jeremiah 30