I saw a report the other day about a city that had lost a large industry a few years ago and how the town had almost become abandoned.  Unfortunately I’ve seen that happen even in towns not too far from where I live right now.

Left behind are large abandoned structures where grounds become grown up with weeds and windows are covered with boards.  What once used to be parking lots full of employee cars are now blocked off with caution tape and large orange barrels dawning NO TRESPASSING signs. Not only do the out-of-business premises become abandoned but so do many other parts of the towns and surrounding communities that the industry touched.

People pick up and move family and belongings to other towns because of job loss.  Other businesses are forced to close their doors because they were dependent upon business from workers of that particular industry.  Housing markets go down.  People have to file bankruptcy.  Maintenance on the community is not kept up and it seems all hope is lost.

It’s sad to see this kind of deterioration from a place that had once been thriving due to successful businesses and relationships with that business.

If we aren’t careful, we will end up in the exact same situation.  Maybe not our town or surrounding community but we ourselves.  We allow our own circumstances to steal our joy and before we know it, we have moved away from God, allowed our relationship to deteriorate, our heart to become grown up with weeds and our soul beginning to rust.

We push people away who want to help and erect caution tape around us with a big invisible “do not trespass” sign. We shake our fists at God and wonder why we have deteriorated and feel we have no hope.

But He didn’t move out and abandon us.  NO!  Chances are we stopped doing maintenance on our soul.  We may have stopped finding that much-needed quiet time alone with Him each day and reading scripture, praying and attending worship.

It’s just like these towns that have deterioriated……it’s a slow process and before we know it things look abandoned.  But once someone realizes it, they begin looking for new businesses to move in, asking for grant money or create a beautification committee.  Together people start working to bring the town back to life.

Maybe new industry moves in which brings new people which allows businesses to thrive again and the town to show new life and productivity.  Abandoned buildings are now full and the beauty once shown in the city is coming back to life again.

Jesus is waiting with arms wide open to take you back in and start the rebuilding process.  He doesn’t care how many times you feel deteriorated and abandoned, He is waiting for you to return so that He can build you back up, fill you with joy and make you beautiful again.

Don’t let Satan steal your joy and turn you into a rusted, weed-infested, hopeless soul.  Pick yourself up.  Get your tools in your tool belt. Walk toward the loving arms of Jesus and let Him rebuild your structure and give you new life!  God is in the rebuilding business!!