Saturday, March 1, 2008

BRF Take 2

Nehemiah has been going through my head ALL THE TIME. I just keep seeing things in the story more and more. The Lord must want me to learn a lot with this one. :)

Its so easy to let things slip and slide until they are in a state of disaster. That wall that is to be my protection can be ignored until I am left defenseless. Just like the Israelites were compelled through God working in Nehemiah's life to start rebuilding and getting back to the basics, I need to take a look at the wall around my heart, my family, my church. I have work to do. Its important. We all have a part to play and we must take it seriously. If I could literally see the state of my own heart, my own Jerusalem, would it bring me to tears? Would it bring me to my knees? Would I be driven to fasting and praying and then to action? This will be the test, for now I cannot plead ignorance. I know better, I've read Nehemiah.

Jerusalem was demolished, defenseless, and the work would be cumbersome and exhausting. It was a huge job that looked impossible. Nehemiah very wisely told them all to just work on what was in front of them. If every family did their best right in their front yard it could be done in record time. I love how it gave a run down in chapter 3 of the whole affair. It starts telling who worked where. The first ones named are Eliashib the high priest with his brethren working on the sheep gate. All the names follow through telling what part of the wall they were working on right to the end. The list ends at, "And between the upper room at the corner, as far as the Sheep Gate,". All the way around, right back to the sheep gate where they had started! Every part was taken care of with Nehemiah's plan. :) I'm putting a plan like this into action on Monday. I'll be drawing up a game plan for the family. Each member will be given their own part of taking care of our home. We will build new habits and character, and learn to care for our home as a family. I know, not terribly spiritual but its exciting to have a new approach to 'get it all done' taken from a Bible story the kids love. Good lessons in a very practical way.

Another picture in the story that I loved came when the enemies, Sanballat & his crew, decided to attack, kill the workers and stop all that was being done. Nehemiah told all the Israelites to remember just who their God is and all that He had done so far. God is in control. He can handle it. Nehemiah got them ready for battle but didn't stop working on what God told him to do. You see, God has different plans for different circumstances and times. Sometimes he calls people to be still and wait, sometimes He calls for people to go to battle and fight to the glory of God. Nehemiah was ready for whatever God planned, and continued working. I would have been scared silly, gone back in my house and waited to see what happened. I love it that the people set one hand to the work and one hand ready on their sword. I need to be ready, we need to be ready like that. We are always one step away from attack in our relationship with Christ. Satan is ever watchful for part of our wall left untended. Many of us, too many, leave ourselves wide open wondering through the streets of life aimlessly, never worrying about the shambles we're surrounded by. Meanwhile we should be like the Israelites, getting to work at what God has put in front of us, our sword/Bible at our side ready for action, and ever watchful and ready to fight the enemy for our brethren, sons, daughters, and homes.

Nehemiah was a man like Daniel who 'believed in his God'. He is one of the rare people who actually knew God on a different level, trusted Him with all his being, and led others to do the same. Don't give up, don't give in, do what God requires of you and trust Him with the results. Also there was never any doubt as to whom all the glory was due. Nehemiah understood that it wasn't about him. He knew that he was just a tool that God graciously used for His plan. A humble man leading the people to do what is right and constantly pointing to the Lord, not himself. When the wall was finished and the enemies looked on with their poor defeated little faces they knew all along why it was the way it was.
"And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God."

I need to remember this when I get to the tough spots in life and hear less than encouraging words from others. I need to remember Nehemiah when I'm called to build and everything seems against me and no one thinks its possible. I need to keep one hand on my sword at my side, and continue working with my other. I need keep plugging away and trust God with the results. I will remember. I must.

"The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build."

I'm gonna pray for a 'mind to work' and start buildin me a stone wall.


Jenn said...

wow! see all the excitement I missed by only reading it once? I really want to do better this week with my reading. That's my first wall :)

Seven said...

I'm just not going to get a review written, and now that I read yours, I see that it would have been very repetitive anyway.

I have recently seen the state of my Jerusalem, and it did bring me to tears. I was very encouraged to read of Nehemiah's faith in who God was and His ability to do as He promised, and in Nehemiah's work ethic in doing what God called him to do. It was no coincidence that we began reading Nehemiah when we did. It was just exactly what I need to start that huge job of building a stone wall.

We've been rebuilding for a week now, and I see slow but sure progress. The job is far beyond my abilities, but God has made some promises and I know that if I attend to the responsibilities He has placed before me, He will be faithful. Sometimes it's an hour-by-hour thing, but I'm learning once again to trust Him and rely on His strength, not mine.

And I am ever-so-thankful that morning sickness and the accompanying fatigue is only a phase, whether it be six weeks or six months, and it too shall pass. (Hang in there, Jenn. And I'm trying the bean thing. I'll let you know if it works.)

Shannon said...

Well Seven,
That was a comment well worth reading. You should have just put that paragraph up on your blog and called it a review. :)

Kristi said...

I feel bad to leave a comment on your BRF entry, 'cause I am not commenting on that - I'm just saying, I hope your guess of 8 lbs 13 oz. is wrong...yikes...I'm afraid I'm going to have a big baby, though, i'll admit!! Had my first pre-natal class lastnight...which was really great, though the reality of me having to give birth is now setting in - its not just an instant "now you're a mother" thing, I yai yai...anyways...thanks for playing my guessing game - I'll try to think of a worthy prize!!!

Kristi said...

I think besides the actual birth process...the bigger the baby, the better, too...and they're way cuter the bigger they are, too....I have a feeling we're gonna have a big baby...

Hmmm..a book mark...that would've been a cheaper way to go, huh? Not quite as fun, though...we'll stick with the P.D. gift card!!

How's #59 doing?! You guys a full-fledged farmin' family now?