Written by Heidi McLaughlin
Looking at the trouble all around me makes me weary. But an intersection of choice is always in front of me: I can sigh and complain: “It’s going to be another awful hard day. Covid is rampant, I’ve no place to go, there’s not enough money in the bank, I can’t see my family across the border and restaurants are closed again.” OR, I can focus on: “I’m finally going to get a chance to read my favourite book, go for a long walk, call my friend, prepare positive social media posts, make some soup and Facetime my daughter.”
What we focus on determines how we feel.
Nehemiah was a Godly man with a determined purpose of rebuilding the broken walls around Jerusalem. Nehemiah demonstrated excellent leadership by recognizing a problem, praying about it and focusing on putting the expected results in God’s hands. He gathered the Jewish leaders, priests, nobles and officials and he told them about the gracious hand of God to help them rebuild the walls. With fervour and anticipation, they all replied: “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!”
The enthusiasm was great until the wall was half finished and the focus shifted. Enemies opposed the rebuilding and the workers were surrounded with mocking and jeering.
That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!” “What does this bunch of poor feeble Jews think they’re doing?” Those words shifted the focus and people began to complain, “…there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”
The focus on the rubble brought trouble and the workers wanted to quit.
That’s what happens to us, isn’t it? When rubble is all we see, and we focus on the negativity, it drains our energy. We want to quit. That’s when we need to overcome our trouble by refocusing on the words we’re listening to. We all need a Nehemiah in our life who gathered the people and reminded them:
… the Lord, who is great and glorious … our God will fight for us!” (Nehemiah 4: 15, 20).
Do you have a Nehemiah?
When the news is bad and rubble is all we can see, we need a Godly leader to help us focus on God’s promises. We need someone to help us re-focus and remind us that our trouble is temporary and we will get through this. We need a Nehemiah for ourselves, but we also need to be a Nehemiah for others. Especially in the middle of Covid whilst rubble is all around us. We need encouragement and words of hope for better days. Looking at the rubble perpetuates trouble. So, I implore all of us to be a Nehemiah and to have your own Nehemiah. Who will that be for you?