He Answers Me in Nehemiah 4

I’m weary-worn from a hectic week at work,

Feet on husband’s lap, tissue on tear stained face.

Who knew that there would be days like these?

People call and leave their burdens at my feet,

and I try to remember that I’m not Jesus,

and that ultimately it’s my job to point people to Him

not to solve all of their problems.

Yet, the Martha in me tries.

I can’t help but feel that I’m only a little girl

“pretending” ministry

and the shoes are way too big for me.

'Walking in my shoes' photo (c) 2011, Susana Fernandez - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Honeytree sang,

“‘I’m playing grownup and no one can see in me,

I’m just a child who is learning to hide inside,

Longing to live, but yet learning to die.”

Voices come, masquerading themselves as my own:

“Why did I think I could do this?

What was I thinking?

I’d better quit now before anyone sees…

that I’m not perfect.”

Husband listens, but his eyes begin to droop

because it’s been hours that he has heard me drone on.

I tell him to go to bed.

Thumb slides on phone

looking for His Words to me

on this matter.

Nehemiah Four:

“What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing?

Do they think they can build the wall in a single day…

Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap…”

The voice sounds oddly familiar.

It’s the one that sounds like my own.

Then Nehemiah prayed.

Then I prayed.

Nehemiah didn’t listen to the voices,

and neither will I.

'Wall' photo (c) 2011, fishhawk - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I will go back to work rebuilding the walls

delegating to others

and we’ll whistle while we work.

But not without the Sword of the Spirit

in our mouths,

to chase away words

that cajole and confront

that we are nothing and can not finish.

I am nothing.

I can’t finish.

He is everything.

He has finished.

I am in Him,

and He is in me.

It is done.

Giving thanks because I need to see:

289. Free leggings just when I needed them.

290. Beauty in every corner

291. Cozy corners to enjoy coffee or cocoa

292. Sunlight glitters in an autumn dance

293. It was a dark and stormy night…and I am in my very own attic bedroom.

294. My very own burning bush…what is the Lord saying to me?

295. Joy unspeakable! I’m living the life of Jan Karon’s Father Tim!

 

 

Nehemiah 3: A Lesson In Appreciation

Good Monday Morning! I am continuing my series on Nehemiah this morning with chapter 3. Everything about chapter 3 screams out, “Skip me!” It is one of those chapters that consists of a long list of names and places. But after surveying this portion of scripture from the eyes of an Executive Director, I realized one thing: God knows how important it is to memorialize those who have given to a cause. So here are my thoughts about a chapter I would would normally skim through.

Press the pause button!
Insert academy award speech here.
“I would like to take a few moments
to mention the names of those who
have made this possible.”

Some pile brick upon brick
on a wall in front of their home;
the place they most want to protect.
They will be able to enjoy
the work of their hands while
sitting on their couch, gazing out
their living room window.

Others work in a much more public place,
constructing secure gates
with names like Broad, Valley and Dung.
Skilled construction workers,
pastors, rabbis, teachers,
entire families and even…girls
are listed with Thanksgiving
both the expected and the unexpected,
the skilled and unskilled alike.

They worked in community,
having one purpose in mind.
This is what comes of unity, of a people of one mind.
Combine focus with sweat and determination
and you get the impossible done…
and perhaps, your name written in a book
for strangers to read…
thousands of years later.

I encourage you to find a cause that you can work beside others who are likeminded. Don’t worry whether you are qualified or not…God will lead you to build a wall next to someone qualified, who will encourage you along the way. Together we can “rise up and build” the impossible!

Today I’m sharing over at Michelle’s, Laura’s and Jen’s!

My Nehemiah Prayer

As Executive Director of Love INC of Tinley Park, I find myself continually turning to the book of Nehemiah for wisdom. I find that it gives me the encouragement I need in order to inspire those around me to affect change. Won’t you join me on my Nehemiah journey? Let us rise up and build our homes, our towns, our schools, our nation and our world to be a people who fulfill the vision God has for us!

Lord, God give me the courage
to see the truth,
assess the damage
and still believe.

Like Nehemiah, let me see past the ruins
beyond the pain of
disappointment
straight to your world vision.

When the road seems impassable
lead me another way
directly to those you are empowering
to rebuild what you’ve designed.

Show me who the kings are…
those royal ones whose assignments
are philanthropy and influence
providing materials and expertise.

Help me to have the faith
to declare to the blind
who have stepped over the mess,
“Let us rise up and build!”
Lord, change their vision.
Change mine.

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Let us Arise and Rebuild!

Continuing my journey with Nehemiah…This is inspired from the second chapter. Won’t you join my meditations on Nehemiah? If you’d like to start from the beginning, you can go here.

My world wonders why I mourn,
but my nation continues to suffer the consequence
of corporate sin.
We are blind and can not see
That when some suffer, we all suffer.

“What can one girl do?”
they ask.
“You are taking on too much care
over the misery of others.”
But still, I am troubled.

Another asks what bothers me,
and I tell them how my home is in shambles.
A few want to help, some with money
Others want to be my companions
On a long road to recovery.

When the road brings us to our destination
we find
that things are worse than reported…

Because those who have stepped over this mess
for a hundred years
do not see it any longer.
They have resigned themselves that this is life.
Hope has long ago grown wings and taken flight.

But when His Spirit arises, I find myself declaring,
“Let us arise and rebuild!
Arise out of the ashes, the crumbling ruins,
Let us remember who we are,
and Whose we are.
Together we can do this!”

But then, a miracle unfolds!
for those who have lived the zombified lives
of the walking dead
become alive again;
Alive to hope and ready to work.