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Rebuilding can be hard. In the wake of what we’ve witnessed and heard over the last three to four weeks, it’s time to rebuild. This community and those that surround us have come together and have shown such incredible solidarity. We’ve heard and seen the words; #Napastrong and #Naparising and it’s been an incredible sight to behold. Rebuilding can be a great thing. Restoration can be a great thing. We rebuild together to restore our heritage, our pride, our home, our people. There was some utter devastation, but, there were also some stories of miracles. I believe miracles still happen even in the midst of disaster.

Like Jesus, there’s a character in the Bible called Nehemiah and he weeps for his city and for his people after its destruction. But he’s called to rebuild and restore. Restoration often means that those who go through the toughest battles experience the greatest breakthroughs.

We assess what’s broken, but we don’t live in that place, emotionally. We choose to position ourselves in a place of victory, knowing that what we rebuild and what will be, will be greater than before, will be more glorious than the former. That’s living in hope.

For many people, they turned to prayer. I pray that our lives become a prayer rather than us just praying when life happens. Disasters shouldn’t bring us to our knees in prayer, rather prayer allows us to stand in the midst of disaster. There will be great joy again. We declare that over our Napa Valley. When God restores, He doesn’t restore to where you once were, no, He restores you to what He wants you to become and it’s a magnificent restoration.

One of our pastors here at Calvary Christian Church, Virginia Meyer, posted this during it all and it was perfect. With her permission I end with her words:

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the amazing men and women that I know who have been through trials and have overcome something. This is dedicated to you.

Dust off the ashes and come stand in the light.

The fire intended for your demise has only made you bright.

The ashes, a remnant of the consumable;

What remains is beautiful.

Pure and bright — so you can stand tall.

Now fear is gone and what remains is a warrior who overcame.

‘So be bold and brave and behold your King,’

the destiny inside you sings.

Because what you have inside is Life.

You’re a living, breathing sacrifice,

And the breakthrough that you battled for has thrown favor on the distant shores.”

We love our community. We love our people. We are strong. We are rising.

Rich Stein is associate pastor at Calvary Christian Church.