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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers

Ruined Places

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Psalm 74, subtitled “an appeal against the devastation of the land by the enemy,” is so appropriate when we consider some of the places in our lives where the enemy has invaded and wreaked havoc. The Psalmist entreated the Lord, “Turn your footsteps toward the perpetual ruins; the enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary (v. 3).” We know we are the temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us (I Cor. 6:19); we are the sanctuary of the Lord, His habitation. How beautiful, then, to be able to confidently ask the Lord to turn his footsteps toward us, bringing with him healing and restoration. Because His love already awaits us, is already out in front of us, and is held out to cover our past, we have this hope: He will come walking toward us, meeting us in our ruined places.

We don’t need to wonder if His desire toward us is good…always his heart for us is good, at all times, in all places. That is our foundation to seek healing. We can freely name before the Lord our devastations, crying out to him for restoration in our ruined places. In our culture it has become popular to “tell all” but this dramatic gushing of complaint is not nearly the same thing as truly crying out to him. This is deeper, more real, and comes from both a place of need and a position of faith. We gather up from the Lord his promises, then step in to believe him for restoration of every devastated place, for re-installation of hope, and for redemption of our sufferings. He woos us “from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction” (Job 36:16).

We are welcomed by the Lord to pour out our hearts to him because He is our refuge (Ps. 62:8). Even our sighs and our groans are received and elicit a response from the Lord: “Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise,” says the Lord; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs (Ps. 12:5).” Do we realize what it’s like when God arises on our behalf? Amazing!

Sometimes we have been so constricted in the tight and difficult places, our land has known so much devastation that hope begins to wane. Our pain has obscured our vision. Oh, but he opens the eyes of our hearts, brings clarity and order to our chaos and encourages us again. He will turn his ear to us and hear us (Ps. 116:2). Let’s renew our hearts again on his promise that devastation will no longer be within our borders, and we will call our walls “deliverance” and our gates “praise” (Isa. 60:8).

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