“They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’ But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands.’” ~ Nehemiah 6:9
Cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah commanded a front row seat to the greatest display of human power on earth. But God had a different kind of power to show Him. And He started by giving Nehemiah a burden his heart couldn’t ignore. Hearing of the ruin of his beloved Jerusalem, Nehemiah could not eat or sleep, so great was his grief. With the blessing of the King, Nehemiah turned his attention to the call God had burned on his life: to rebuild a decimated Jerusalem. Little did he know how many obstacles would stand between him and the fulfillment of that task.
Endless piles of rubble required removing. Discouraged Israelites, who’d long given up hope their beloved city would be restored, needed rallying. And a posse of pessimists, who wanted nothing more than to interfere with Nehemiah’s success, needed to be restrained. For every obstacle removed, two more appeared. It was enough to make the most tenacious want to pack his bags.
“But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands…’”
Is this our first response to obstacles? Honestly, if the holy text conveyed more accurately my response, it would say something to the effect of …
“But I panicked, ‘What am I going to do?”
“But I moped, “Why ME!?”
“But I accused, ‘God, what’s wrong with you? Why won’t you do something?’”
The challenges in Nehemiah’s path were significant, not easily ignored and not easily navigated. In his pocket sat a thousand and one “reason-to-quit” cards, sandwiched in between the “feeling-sorry-for-myself” cards and the “life-isn’t-fair” cards. Instead, he pulled out the lone “get-on-your-knees” card:
“Now strengthen my hands…”
I have no idea what your challenges are. Could be a pile of wreckage from a slew of bad decisions. Or an audience of pessimists who don’t think you can do it. Or maybe it’s weak arms and tired feet from busting your tail at the task at hand, with little to show for it.
Time to let those tired knees bend and feeble hands fold.
Now your in the perfect position to see God resurrect the rubble.
- Day 274 (Monday): Luke 1, John 1
- Day 275: Matthew 1, Luke 2
- Day 276: Matthew 2, Luke 2
- Day 277: Mark 1, Luke 3, Matthew 3
- Day 278: John 1, Matthew 4, Luke 4-5
- Day 279: John 2-4
- Day 280: Mark 2, Matthew 8-9
After all these obstacles, Nehemiah prayed “…Remember me, O my God, for good.” Nehemiah 13:31
God answered his prayer. We are now remembering him for good.