Last summer my husband and I watched several documentaries on the part food plays in our overall health. We decided to make some changes. We truly thought we would never go back to our old ways. We began working feverishly to stick to our plan:
- Walking every other day
- Juicing once or twice a day
- Organic foods
- Very little sugar
- No fast food
- In the bed by 8 and asleep by 9
We had our plan and were doing great. We had lost weight, had more energy, and were pretty, stickin proud of ourselves! UNTIL… We had company come in for the weekend. It’s been over two weeks since they left and we’re haven’t gotten refocused. If only we could be like Nehemiah.
We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard. I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day. During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water. –Nehemiah 4:21-23
Nehemiah had a lot more opposition than weekend house guests. Under Nehemiah’s leadership the Jews were trying to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. They weren’t adding the wall for architectural beauty; with every stone laid they were fighting for their lives and the lives of their families.
Nehemiah had to deal with…
- Being mocked (Nehemiah 4:4)
- Hearing rumors of being attacked (Nehemiah 4:8)
- The complaints of his own people (Nehemiah 4:10)
What did Nehemiah Do?
- Prayed (Nehemiah 4:4)
- Kept working (Nehemiah 4:6)
- Prayed (Nehemiah 4:9)
- Guarded the city day and night to protect themselves (Nehemiah 4:9)
- Placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas (Nehemiah 4:13)
- Stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows (Nehemiah 4:13)
- Called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your homes! (Nehemiah 4:14)
- Had half the men work while the other half stood guard (Nehemiah 4:15)
- Made sure every builder had a weapon (Nehemiah 4:18)
- Listened to their complaints and took the time to consider them (Nehemiah 5:6)
- Avoided people who were trying to distract him (Nehemiah 6:3)
- Ignored accusations and continued the work with greater determination (Nehemiah 6:9)
- Discerned false prophets (Nehemiah 6:12)
…And Kept Working!
So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God. –Nehemiah 6:15-16
This story reminds me of a John Wesley quote: “Work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God.”
We can do amazing things in short periods of time, if we focus on our work and bring every obstacle to the Lord and ask for His help.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for thinking, “I” can do all things. Help me to learn from Nehemiah’s example. Thank you for reminding me that I have a part but nothing happens unless You give the increase. Thank You for all the times You’ve “helped” me. Help me to focus like Nehemiah on the projects You have called me to do.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!
© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 7:4-8:12