I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor [Trouble] a door of hope.
Boston's Liberty Hotel boasts luxury accommodations, upscale restaurants, and a celebrity clientele. Guests enjoy more than glamour, however; they also enjoy a glimpse into history.
Built in 1851, the building was once the Charles Street Jail. For 120 years, the building hosted such "guests" as prisoners from a World War II German submarine; the thieves behind the Great Brinks Robbery in 1950; and Frank Abagnale Jr., the con artist portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Catch Me If You Can.
Years after being declared unfit for prisoners, the granite building underwent a $150 million renovation. Today the entrance of the former jail is the doorway to a fine Italian restaurant—where guests dine next to original jail bars and brick walls. The catwalks where guards once stood watch are now elegant iron-railing balconies. As one former prisoner said upon visiting the hotel, "How you could take something that was so horrible and turn it into something of tremendous beauty, I don't know."
This is a dim reflection of the transformation God offers us by turning opportunities for punishment in our lives into gateways to restoration. We do the same every time we extend forgiveness to someone who doesn't deserve it. God's justice will not allow him to overlook evil. Yet, in his love, God designed a plan so that the place of justice might become a place of grace.
Think of someone you harbor anger toward. What would it look like if you allowed your resentment to be transformed into a place of grace?