Scripture: Nehemiah 4:21 So we labored at the work (of rebuilding the city walls), and half of them held the spears from break of dawn until the stars came out. 22 I (Nehemiah) also said to the people at that time, “Let every man and his servant pass the night inside Jerusalem, so that they may be a guard for us by night and may labor by day.” 23 So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me ever took off our clothes; each kept his weapon in his right hand.
Observation: On the one hand, the very act of working to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem was a tremendous act of faith. On the other hand, it’s obvious there was still a great deal of anxiety among the people. Just look again at v.23.
Application: Some people seem to be calm and collected all the time. Unfortunately I’m not one of those people. Sometimes I let things get to me and I lose my cool. It doesn’t happen too often, but it happens. Then again, I’m a “feeler” by nature and Hispanic at that, so excitability is part of my cultural DNA. What can I say? We are a passionate people. I’m thinking some of you can relate.
But just because I might get a bit anxious doesn’t mean I have to give up. The people in our passage felt the weight of their task in the face of opposition. It was unnerving to know their enemies could appear at any time. But, despite their fear and anxiety, they completed the task God had given them. This is good news for me today, and perhaps for some of you as well. The Lord gives us strength and courage when we might want to run and hide.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us grace to stay the course when, in our fear and anxiety, we want to abort. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.