Can one person really make a difference? Seriously, can ordinary people influence others to change? Nehemiah is a book in the Old Testament about a man who makes a difference. Rather than settling into the comforts of mediocrity, indifference, or apathy, he decides to do something about the mounting injustice in his world. As cupbearer to the King of Persia, it would be easy for him to stay in his comfort zone. After all, he was second in command to the king, and life must have been pretty swell. Read Nehemiah 1.
The Wall is Torn Down
In 605 BC, the Jews were hauled off to Babylonian captivity and, years later, Nehemiah is born as a Jew in exile. (The Medes and Persians eventually conquered the Babylonians in case you wanted to know). Over time, life becomes pretty cush there. The Jews build homes. Bear children. Have jobs. All in all, it is good.
But then one day, Nehemiah’s brother Hanani arrives from Jerusalem and reports the condition of the homeland. Although the temple is rebuilt, something still is terribly wrong: the wall is torn down. Now, if you know anything about the cities of old, they need their wall. It is how they keep the enemy from marching on in. A city without a wall is hardly a city at all.
Similarly, if we let our walls down, who knows what can enter in? Proverbs 4:23 instructs, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” For this reason, we, too, need to build a firm foundation in the Word of God. Because whether you realize it or not, the Enemy is always on the prowl (1 Peter 5:8).
Nehemiah’s Heart Breaks
Upon hearing the report, Nehemiah responds and calls out to God. Realizing the task is too big for him to handle on his own, he prays for God’s divine wisdom. At the moment, he cannot see what lies ahead. The circumstances seem insurmountable.
It is in this moment that Nehemiah could have turned to despair or worry’; doubt or fear; frustration or anger. Instead of rushing ahead and trying to resolve the problem on his own, he seeks God. Nehemiah teaches us that God can handle our emotions. Nothing is too big for God.
Nehemiah mourns. And weeps. Then fasts. And prays. Allowing the pains of his people to become his own. I️ find so extraordinaire that Nehemiah immediately turns his attention to God when faced with troubling news. He bears his soul before the heavenly throne room.
God Has the Answer
When we don’t have the answers, God does. God will never fail. Whatever you are facing today, know that God can handle it. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).
“O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments” Neh. 1:5
Not only does God have the answer, but He wants to use you. God wants to use you to make a difference in this world. Stop putting on limits on what God can do & who He can use.
Do you believe that God can use you to make a difference? Are you willing to humbly surrender to God’s plan, rather than yours?