Bible Reading: Nehemiah 4:1-23
I remember being in a conversation with some Law School colleagues years ago. There had been the year-long tension in the build up to the ‘almighty Bar final exams’ and then finally, myself and the guys speaking had passed our exams and were about to be called to the Nigerian Bar. However, quite a number of the people in the conversation had scored way lower grades than they expected. There was a whole lot of ranting, complaining and analysing going on about how we were ‘cheated’ and how we know we should have scored better, and so on. Somewhere in the conversation, I remember someone asking if anyone would be interested in re-writing the exam so as to try and get a better grade. A consensus and defiant answer resounded across the room- ‘Never!!’
What’s harder than writing an exam? Re-writing it. I don’t ever want to go through that emotional stress again. I don’t ever want to feel that tension again. What’s harder than taking a penalty kick at a World Cup final? Having to take it again. What’s harder than facing your cold-faced prospective father-in-law for the first time? Having to then face your cold-faced prospective uncles-in-law afterwards.
What’s harder than building? I think re-building.
If building takes courage, re-building takes extra courage.
However, as believers, we are not just called and graced to build, we are actually called and graced to re-build!
We live in a broken world where a whole lot of wrong has already taken place. Systems had already been corrupted before we got on the scene. Maybe as an individual, you can also tell that there is wrong in you that raises in you the need to re-build.
Maybe you look over your background and all the brokenness and pain you grew up in that leaves you with a need to re-build a whole new order and vision for marriage and family; or maybe you made mistakes in some seasons of your life and really built in yourself wrong awarenesses, exposures and habits and now you really need to re-build a new journey of purity and discipline.
Re-building feels like we’re not starting from a plain ground. It feels like a system that is already rigged against us. Have you ever wished some things just didn’t happen or that you can erase some years from your life? Or maybe you think of our nation and wonder whether we can skip from 1963 to date, or from 2015 to date or something.
We read from the story of Nehemiah today, a man who responded in courage to re-build a wall that was broken down.
Nehemiah had several odds against him, including the opposition and ridicule of people, but he had such an unusual grace of God with him.
The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build… Nehemiah 2:20 NKJV
We learnt yesterday that God likes to see things built. I’ll tell you what- He also loves to see things re-built! He loves to see a new story of hope built where there was destruction. He loves to see a marriage and family re-built in love where it had broken down. He loves to see an addicted people re-build their lives in liberty and freedom. He loves to see people that had made poor choices and wasted years re-build their future by His mercy. And I also believe that He loves to see nations and communities re-built from destruction.
As we wait on God today, let’s believe for courage to re-build. Let’s refuse to cave in to the discouragement and the sound of failure. Let’s believe that this year will be a year that the grace of a builder- and re-builder- will be strong on us! We will be setting things right in our lives and in the communities God has planted us. Let’s believe that we will exude a sound of hope, not of resignation and despair.
Something To Pray
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again. Isaiah 58:12 MSG
Would you personalise that verse and pray it over yourself today.
PS: We’ve got SuperSaturday today! Join in online (YouTube / Mixlr @ sycamore church) for an hour of prayers in any of the repeat sessions as we lean together over our Surge experience: 7-8 am , 12-1 pm, 8-9 pm (all WAT)-