There is something special about the word again. It can be a word that adds to your life or takes away. It can be a word of blessing, or it can also become annoying and tiresome when used in a certain way. For instance, pushing a child on a swing or giving them a horsey-back ride. While it is all fun and games, and as parents and grandparents we love the joy filled with their pleas for “again”, after so many times of hearing it, that child has more energy than you do and you are tired and don’t want to hear the word “again”, again. The repetition of the plea wears you down.
In other areas of our lives, there are repetitions of “again” that wear us down as well. Unwelcoming feelings of disappointment and hurt keep invading your life like waves crashing on the seashore. Coming again and again – like the very erosion you witness on beaches because of the constant pounding of waves – we feel that eat away at us and we are bewildered, scratching our heads and questioning “again?”.
The year 2020 has left many people scratching their heads, wondering in their minds “again?” It seemed like every month that went by some new tragedy or national, and even global event was transpiring that shook the foundation of many people, making them question, “What now?” and “Where do we go from here?”
If you have ever seen those demonstrations of a mouse in a maze you get a sense of how frustrating it is for the animal. It feels like it is going through all these different channels and passageways only to come to another blocked exit, another place that says you are not getting out of this. That’s a trapped feeling. One of hopelessness.
Many today are dealing with those same feelings. Feelings that make it seem no matter which way one turns, there is a hand held up, signaling for you to stop, suggesting you are not allowed beyond this point. Turning toward another path or another decision, and there’s another sign saying access denied. Over and over again, running into these blockades is frustrating, feeling there’s no way out, and left wondering “again?”.
In 2 Kings 19 and its parallel chapter located in 2 Chronicles 32, we see King Hezekiah dealing with some of these “again?” moments when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, comes against Jerusalem to besiege it.
Being besieged is when you are trapped on all sides. It is being totally surrounded, and like that mouse in a maze, there is no way out.
This was a part of warfare. They would totally enclose a city giving little to no options of recuperating on their own. Either the people could stay walled up in the city and eventually starve because there’s no way in and no way out for goods to be transported. They could be killed in the city when the enemy broke through. Or they could come out with their hands up and accept a life of captivity in the enemy’s land.
None of these options were very appealing. And for Hezekiah, after initiating great spiritual reforms for his people, after demolishing all the evil practices in the land, after re-establishing true worship of the one and only true God – this all must have been very confusing of why this? Why now? Why him? Why again?
Did you know that even when you do right, sometimes things can still go wrong (at least according to how we see it)? There are too many Bible verses that let us know that we, as God’s people, are not exempt from trouble. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). 1 Peter says, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” (4:12).
What was happening with Hezekiah wasn’t strange either. When you work to detach your life and people from the enemy’s clutches, there is always going to be resistance.
What do you do when you’ve done all that you know to be right and the enemy is still persisting?
Hezekiah did what we all should do. When faced with the challenge before him, he sought the LORD for help (2 Kings 19:1, 14-19; 2 Chronicles 32:20).
God’s response is recorded in 2 Kings 19:29-34. What the enemy put his hands on to destroy, God was bringing a “yet again” moment. 2 Kings 19:30 records, “And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward” (bold emphasis added). This “remnant” had current, future, and future, future inspirations attached to it.
When God is involved, “again” doesn’t come with anxiety attached to it. “Again” wasn’t coming with heartache involved in it. “Again” wasn’t a signal for more despair and a more wearing out of His people.
“Again” was coming with promise! Again, was coming, telling you what you see today is not how your story will end. Again, was coming to let you know that not only are you coming out of this siege – not only is the trap that has been holding you in going to let you go – but there is also going to be some re-rooting and regrowing taking place among God’s people (2 Kings 19:30).
“Yet again.” God saw past the circumstances that currently surrounded His people. Not only did and does He see past the current stuff, but He sees past the future stuff. He knew everything they were dealing with and would deal with in the future, and what He spoke over them and to them was for a time of restoration. A time of being re-rooted. And a time of new growth upwards.
Although we can sometimes associate the word “again” in some of those tiresome ways previously discussed, with God, “again” brings with it a breath of new hope.
As we begin this new year many need to hear that breath of new hope breathing “yet again.” We have crossed over into 2021, and that means not only are we in a new day, but we are in a new year. And while we are here, we have hope for a new “again”.
I have recognized in my own life areas where I need to be re-rooted that so that new growth can begin growing upwards. As with the beginning of any new year, the idea of new and restoration and beginning again speaks something special to me personally. I feel new energy, a new awakening within me to do more, to reinitiate some stuff in some areas, and to seek new growth in other areas. To, all in all, do more and do better in the year to come.
I thank God for His “again” moments He has given me. With His new graces and mercies, and with this new year, we can begin again right where we are. Our circumstances may not be perfect according to some, but as long as we are walking with Him, and His Spirit is guiding our life, our “yet again” can be something unbelievably beautiful to behold.
Ultimately, these moments we take to walk with Him and realign our lives to His purposes will lead us to live in eternity with God forever. Until then, let your “yet again” work something beautiful in the time He has given us today, and for this year.
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