Sunday, September 21, 2008

Verse of the week -- Nehemiah 6:9



I recently wrapped up reading through the book of Nehemiah during my morning quiet time. A powerful reminder of a life lived with God's focus rather than a human one.

Nehemiah, despite dire consequences, could not prevent his sorrow from overwhelming him in the presence of the king. He sorrowed at the disrepair of his home, specifically the walls around the city of Jerusalem. Despite the knowledge that he could lose his life for not keeping his emotions in check as he served as royal cup bearer, this need consumed him.

As I started reading on, I challenged myself to look at the walls that needed repair in my own life.

Could my marriage use some fortifying?
My parenting skills?
My stewardship?
The fruit of the spirit in my life?
My evangelism efforts?
My self discipline?

Obviously, the list got rather lengthy. I chose a couple to keep in mind through the reading of the rest of the book. Even focusing on just a few areas to build up, the work can grow wearying. I became encouraged and inspired by Nehemiah's unwavering focus to get the job done. So much opposition came up against him, life threatening opposition (hmmm, maybe his eternal focus kept him from fearing for his physical life so often . . .) Yet, Nehemiah stuck to the task that he set out to do.

Even as he faced harassment and threats from other forces he kept on and did not allow fear to control him. He definitely experienced fear, that we know. He did not give into the fear that still seeks to cripple us today. But he cried out to God as it says in chapter six verse nine, "
For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands."

For some reason those last few words jumped out at me as my battle cry for the week ahead.

O God, strengthen my hands!

This is not my work I do, not my task to accomplish. It is His. As I parent, as I fulfill my role as helpmeet to my husband, as I seek greater surrender and discipline in my spiritual walk, I can't do it in my own strength. My hands are definitely weak from work. But it still has to get done.


Every day, I have a job to do, walls to build throughout my home and schedule. We often think of walls as harmful. They block out and obstruct. However, these walls fortify, protect, comfort, unite, strengthen. This work is essential and cannot stop simply because of weary hands.


O God, strengthen my hands!


For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

~Nehemiah 6:9~

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