January 25, 2016

Read Nehemiah 3

I can imagine the excitement at the prospect of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem after its destruction by the Babylonians. First, the walls had to be built for protection for the city. Had I been there, I might have been eager to help, provided my friends were there, and I had a task I was well-suited for in my "comfort zone."
But this does not seem to be the attitude of those who built. Yes, there might have been some family and friends close by, but Nehemiah 3 lists strangers, foreigners, priests, perfumers, rulers, servants, women, and men.  Most were not well-suited as brick masons.  There was danger from outsiders. Not much comfort there.  Amazingly, except for one group of noblemen who refused to help, there is no record of any strife among the workers. Equally amazing is the fact that history records the walls as being built in 52 days. A diverse, mostly unskilled population amidst danger from outsiders building a city in 52 days. Wow! 
So what do we do with seemingly impossible tasks? Anne Voscamp says, "Ours is the God Who whispers:  'With Me nothing...is impossible.'  Believe in Him for impossABLE things- because as long as Emmanuel, God is with us and we are in God: nothing is impossible....Believe in Him who makes the ridiculously impossible into the miraculously possible, the unbelievable into the you-better-believe it, the never into the now." He Is ABLE!  And many times He requires people to help in the process. Are we willing? To commit to His ways, with the people He chooses to place around us? Most importantly, how is God using us in that process to preach the gospel? As wonderful as it is to build a wall, it's even more amazing to model Christ in the process, with strange and unlovable people around us. BUT God is with us. We can trust the words of Nehemiah 2:20, "The God of heaven will give us success!”

Beginning 2016 with Prayer

Keep my heart right. 

The Breastplate of Righteousness - Yes, Lord, I wear Your righteousness against all condemnation and corruption. Fit me with Your holiness and purity, defend me from all assaults against my heart.