by Hong Yang
The word ‘ruins’ reminds me of a historical royal park in my hometown—Beijing. You might or might not have heard of it. Its name is ‘Yuan Ming Yuan’ (also called The Old Summer Palace) and it used to be the most beautiful, splendorous, luxurious royal park in all of China about 200 years ago. But sadly it was looted then burned up by invaders in 1860. All the buildings and collections were destroyed and gone, the only things left were broken down stone ruins.
I have a special connection with that park because the campus of my childhood middle school is actually a part of it. For many, it is just a park, a museum and a popular tour site. But for me, this place is very different and holds a lot of meaning. Back when I was a middle school student, many mornings, I passed though the park riding my bicycle and I greeted the old stone ruins. So when I read the words in Nehemiah 2:17-18, I could easily imagine Nehemiah’s feelings as he stood in front of the ruined walls of Jerusalem.
At the time, when I passed though the ruins of Yuan Ming Yuan, I kept asking myself ‘why’? “Why was this palace destroyed so badly? Why were there wars? And why did invaders come and destroy such a masterpiece?” Honestly, I had been struggling with those questions and mourning for the palace for a long time.
But some years ago, when I visited the ruins again, I suddenly found the park had became quite different: It was not only the stone ruins that could be seen, but more plants, wider roads and beautiful clean lakes. There were even some swans inhabiting those lakes! It was not a royal palace built for only a few people anymore, it was a public park for anyone and everyone to enjoy.
At that moment, my heart recognized that the newly, rebuilt park was much better than the old, splendorous palace, let alone the ruins that had remained. The new park gave me a feeling of peace and joy in my heart.
Jeremiah 24:6 says: “I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not overthrow them, and I will plant them, and not uproot them.” And in Jeremiah 32:41: “I will rejoice over them to do good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and all My soul.”
Yes, God’s rebuilding is amazing. He always gives us His goodness and a new hope. 25 years ago, I was just a young girl alone and mourning in front of old ruins. But today, I know to turn to God’s words and to God’s power for truth and for hope. My life has changed a lot, even since moving to Korea. Some things in my past that I had tried to build well have been broken down and made into ruins. Praise God, I have found a new way to rebuild my life: It is to follow God, always have faith in Him, and believe that God is working out His goodness for me, for my family. I am still in the middle of this journey, and it is with a joyful and peaceful heart that I move forward day-by-day letting Him do the rebuilding.
Praise God for He is Faithful!
How have you seen God’s ‘rebuilding’ at work in your life?
How did you feel when seeing God’s ‘rebuilding’ work in someone else’s life?
Praise God for His mighty power that is at work in this world.
Pray for people to turn to the Lord for His help and strength when something in their life is broken.
Pray for those around us who do not yet know God and for those who have never experienced God’s rebuilding power.