Arise & Build
by Tyler Pieper
The early morning hours make me equal parts bold and sensitive. Bold enough to rise in the chill, sensitive enough to hear His voice from across a field. It's always been my favorite time of day. I vividly recall when my dad would wake me before he left for work. The house was quiet, barely 4:00 AM. He made us both breakfast while I watched and whispered inquisitively about his plans for the day. It seemed that we were most father and son over orange juice and toast.
But more than the meal, it was our time together. And it was special.
I would ask him everything fresh on my mind that I wouldn’t remember later. I shared unabashedly. We had moments in silence and roars of laughter. We got to know each other; little by little and morning by morning.
I could never have known the intimacy with Jesus that my earthly father was setting me up for. To this very day, it is my hour of power. I still wake to the Father summoning me out of bed. The parallel of realms is brilliant, the Spirit thick in the air. It’s when I yearn and sing and dance and seek. It’s when I hear and when I see and when I cry. I’ll sit with God in the morning before the day ever really begins, and He invites me to join Him in the things to come.
As I’ve gotten to know my Heavenly Father through the years, my bravery in prayer has lead me to ask Him for things that I’d never imagined I would. It’s caused my very vision to grow beyond my own little world.
“God, continue to let my heart break.”
It’s not some twisted, strange request for God to impart devastation on me, but I guess over time, He's proved again and again that He'll meet me there. The more I look deep into the eyes of what burdens me, the grander the vision of restoration He reveals. And really, that’s the life I want. I want to sacrifice comfort to pursue a life of rebuilding. I find that I am most centered in Him when I am hyper-aware of the things He wants to see come to pass, and these things are often the promises that come out of my own hurt.
Being brokenhearted isn't a state I fear (anymore). I still try to guard it well and focus on the things that delight Him most, but I cannot justify being afraid of a space that God wants to meet me in. After all, He is closest to us in our pain, and from that pain beautiful things are birthed. We spend so much time trying to avoid the things that bring us to our knees that I can’t help but wonder if we miss out on the greater privilege of knowing Him more truly, all because we’re trying to dodge our fears.
Could it be that He really does want to give us vision to bring beauty from ashes? And how can we expect vision for the rebuild if we can't sift through the rubble around us?
I can’t fix what I see alone. It's uncomfortable. It’s scary. It can spark feelings of sadness and maybe even be a little lonely at times. But I’ve come to find that it never requires concern for the strength of my own heart.
It's in our heartbreak that we can share in His heartbeat for restoration.
It's His very heartbeat for restoration that pumps peace through our bloodstream.
It's His peace in our bloodstream that brings understanding to our minds.
And when His understanding infiltrates our minds, we grow sensitive to the very things that break His heart.
It is the Father's heartbreak that brings strength to vision He’s given us, and this is where the vision comes to life!
Pastor Jesse talked about the very cost of being a vision builder, being somebody who can bring this thing into fruition. The calling is always going to be bigger than our own strength and solo-accomplishment. It takes ownership. It means running forward when nobody else sees what you’ve been shown.
When Nehemiah (a Biblical nobody) learned the condition of his city, his heart was broken. And this broken heart lead him to fasting and prayer, turning the news about about his home into a sympathetic burden. This burden called him back to Jerusalem to rebuild. Nehemiah was brought home by a vision!
Like myself, this vision probably unfolded over the course of many intentional mornings with the Father. He learned his voice and began to trust Him, growing to know Him little by little and morning by morning. He learned that a broken heart isn’t really that scary after all, and the thing that burdens you can be the very thing that propels you into the future.
It’s going to look a lot like signing up for more than we expected. We will inevitably feel weak and less than. We will undoubtedly wonder what we’ve gotten ourselves into.
But, if we are willing to embrace these insecurities, these fears, and these doubts with integrity, it is in our trust for the vision that God brings wholeness to our soul; confronting the very things that try to divide our hearts.
So, let it break. Lean into what pains you. Feel it fully with God. He wants to give you a brand new framework for everything you’ve considered lost. Rising out of your life’s burden will always look a lot like construction, but the promise on the other side is a completed vision of restoration.
Now is the time to arise and build.