Dealing with the Rubble

I had my monthly IVIG treatment today. It seemed to go faster than last time which is good. That means my blood pressure wasn’t too high for too long. This is the time that I periodically check the old CaringBridge blogs to see what was happening to me at this time now four years ago during my health crisis. Since I don’t remember many of these early days, it is interesting to find out what was going happening on a certain day. It gives perspective and gratitude for the life I have today. Even with monthly treatments and ongoing recovery.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…  “I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire…. Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.”  Nehemiah 2:13,17 ESV

Nehemiah is the “cupbearer” who became the “rebuilder of broken walls.” The walls of a city spoke of its strength and security. They defined the parameter and identity of the city and were for protection from invading armies.

When a city was invaded and taken, the walls were torn down. It was not just enough to defeat those inside the walls, the walls that stood for the strength and protection of the city were broken down as a sign of ultimate defeat and humiliation.

The Temple of God had been rebuilt under Ezra. Now the Lord uses Nehemiah to take the next step in restoration of the city of Jerusalem. I am sure the sight was overwhelming, sad and discouraging. The once great city of powerful kings lies in ruin. The first thing Nehemiah does is to “tour the damage.” The walls were torn down and burned. The sight had to be overwhelming and discouraging. Where do you begin? How do you proceed?

Nehemiah was on a mission. He was man of vision because he was a man of prayer. Prayer enables us to keep our eyes on God and His ability and not on our own.

The next thing Nehemiah does is to call others to the task. This was more than a “one man” mission. As he puts out the challenge, it is more than a rebuilding of the walls, it is a call to restore dignity. It was a project intended on “removing derision” and no longer being a people who would have to hang their heads in shame.

We see in Nehemiah and we can observe it in our own lives, there are those who for whatever reason, do not want us to be restored. The progress and restoration of one, can be viewed as a blow to the position and status of another.

At least that is what Nehemiah faced. “…when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.” (Nehemiah 2:10 ESV)

As Nehemiah rallied the people to come and help and told them of the favor of God on his life and said, “let us rise up and build!” But opposition rose up once again.  “But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing?….” (Nehemiah 2:19 ESV)

When I read the story of Nehemiah, I think of the words of Isaiah, “See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm, and ever before me is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.” (Isaiah 49:16 TLB) The Lord knows the condition of our life. But His desire is for restoration and new life.

Isaiah looks to the future and declares, “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” (Isaiah 58:12 NIV)

I am thankful the Lord makes new and He restores.

Prayer for today…. Lord thank You that You are the restorer of the “broken walls” of our life. We may experience defeat, challenges and setbacks, but You are the One who brings us back.