God knows exactly what to do to make things right between us and others, and he wants to teach us, but the process is slow. Perhaps by design. Perhaps God’s guidance is only revealed bit by bit because our relationships with others can only be healed slowly, over time, without rash promises or grand gestures. God knows he has our attention when we feel guilty, so as we’re agonizing in prayer, desperately begging him to fix the mess we’ve made, God can reveal to us the errors in our hearts and minds that caused these crummy circumstances in the first place. And we actually listen, because we’re desperate, and so we actually change. The people we’ve hurt begin to wonder if the changes they think they see in us are genuine. And slowly God’s guidance and God’s transforming power work in us until they flow out of us, and with wisdom and patience we are able to repair what we have destroyed

Adapted from Then. Now. Next.: A Biblical vision of the church, the kingdom, and the future.