Thanksgiving time is a joyful time of feasting with close family and friends, a special time to reconnect with loved ones sometimes afar off. For some people, however, Thanksgiving is a sore spot, a somber reminder of past hurts, destructive words, division, and most of all, loneliness. Sometimes with the joy of thanksgiving can also come feelings of bitterness, regret, and a deep unfulfilled hope that things could be, and should be, different.
No relationship is perfect, that is for certain, but God has called us ALL to be relational people. Buried hurts, petty frustrations and resentments only keep us from being who God has called us to be. I am sure that even as I am writing this, God is pinging your heart. He is bringing to your remembrance those fights with a loved one, those fruitless disagreements with a dear friend, those annoyances from some unsuspecting, albeit well-meaning person. Let us pray together, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
As I allow the Lord to bring to my remembrance my part to play in any less-than-perfect relationships, I am reminded of Isaiah 58, a prophetic request for us to BE BETTER and DO BETTER. Isaiah’s words speak of the restoration of Israel both physically and spiritually. While we patiently await our Messiah’s return to create for us a “perfect peace,” we cannot neglect OUR RESPONSIBILITY to be peacemakers here on earth. This is what the rabbis call in Hebrew, Tikkun Olam, Repair the World.
Isaiah goes on to say in verses 11-13, “The LORD WILL GUIDE YOU CONTINUALLY, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of MANY GENERATIONS; and you shall be called the REPAIRER OF THE BREACH, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”
You, yes YOU, shall be led of the Lord to be the Repairer of the Breach in your family, amongst your friends, in your social circle, at work, everywhere! You will help to raise the foundation stones for MANY generations. Your actions have far-reaching consequences and benefits! You have the power, through the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, to break the cycle of divisiveness.
This does not mean, of course, that you are ignoring abusive or inappropriate behavior, what it means is that you will take responsibility for the part you have played in any falling out or damaged relationship, and do your best to bring restoration.
Humbling oneself is difficult. We have been taught the distorted notion that humility damages or depresses self-worth. Nothing could be further from the truth. Humility, not humiliation, brings a spirit of peace.
When you choose to be at peace with all men, you allow more of the Lord to ingratiate your life. We bow low, so HE can lift us up! It is only in this spirit of humility, peace and subsequent freedom, that one can truly be thankful. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
Let us speak words of life and be thankful for those God has put in our paths this year. Let us acknowledge our frailties and sins, humble ourselves, and be the repairer of the breach that He has called us to be.
For His glory, for the restoration of Israel and the nations, may the Lord turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children’s hearts to their fathers (Malachi 4:6). May it be so, come quickly Lord Yeshua! We are ever thankful for You!