This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

I want to be Nehemiah

Before you remind me I am a girl, let me clarify and say Nehemiah is a go-getter. God said jump. Nehemiah did it and added a round of push-ups on the end for good measure. And while he was doing them, he convinced hundreds of men to do it with him. It's like he sent an invitation to crazy town, and people looked around and knew this goal, this dream, this desire was just what being a Christian looked like in action. 

I want to be Nehemiah. 

God spoke to him, and before he dared utter a word, he prayed to God for wisdom, guidance, clarity, words. 

I want to be Nehemiah. 

God called him to such an outlandish task, he had no hope of completing it without God's absolute favor. So he asked for it. He believed in it. He walked in it. Scoffers be damned, he didn't follow them anyway. He followed God. God be blessed and pass it along. 

I want to be Nehemiah. 

He managed to motivate men to volunteer their efforts, muscles, energy, and eventually their lives. He knew what they were fighting for, and he keyed into that purpose and spent his breath encouraging and committing to them. One writer says it this way, "He invited them to play a role in God's story". Whoa. What? 

A role in God's story? But I do that! It's called parenting. It's called mentoring. It's called discipleship. It's called following the prompting if the Holy Spirit. It's called using my gifts to bring God glory. 

Nehemiah did all of this and said, "yes," to being part of God's story. And he was granted favor. 

His goal was not only God approved, but it was a part of God's story. That wall was protection. That wall was God's glory, and we see that repeatedly throughout this story. Men built the wall with tools in one hand and a sword in their other. I never face this level of opposition. And it shows. I am never as invested in whatever I am a part of in the same way Nehemiah and his men were passionate about building this wall. 

I want to be Nehemiah. 

As I step into the shoes of this new ministry, I find myself faced with so many of Nehemiah's same obstacles. The difference between us right now is that I am not Nehemiah. I am working on it. 

I want to be Nehemiah. 


Rachel said...

I've been hearing about Nehemiah from every direction these days! We just started reading the book in our Bible readings, and my husband just came across a lesson on Nehemiah by my husband's favorite teacher, Ravi Zacharias. I never really paid much attention to him before as a hero of the Bible--but he certainly was an interesting character.

shontell said...

Rachel, he is totally one of good guys. He is for sure a hero of mine. Random to be sure, but his book reads like a journal. My favorite part of his story is how much it intertwines with Ezra, Esther, and even Daniel!! The time line of it all makes it more real that he is my ancestor and not just some story in a book. Thanks for your comment! Good luck with your study!