I think I have always loved Nehemiah because he is so practical. I love problem solving and “practical” solutions can sometimes just seem so obvious to me. It’s a helpful gift but after a few decades you learn the downside of over confidence. Just ‘cause you can doesn’t mean you should is a healthy balancing mantra. It turns out what I want most is God-confidence not my own.
Surely in the 4 months Nehemiah had been praying and lamenting over Jerusalem, plans had been formulating in his mind. He must have felt God organizing these ideas into some tangible action. If he was anything at all like me, he was chomping at the bit. Except for that one little first thing…you don’t just get to quit your job when you work for the king. Now that I think about it, this is sort of like “I have these great ideas I’d like to put into action but what do you do about the husband, the person you give care, the money, the calendar… etc.?”
I guess the obstacles aren’t all that different. Nehemiah was a responsible guy. He was probably torn between this calling and his day job. Much to his credit he was not a “wheeler-dealer”. In fact, if I feel the need to “wheel and deal” my way into something…well, JUST STOP. God, IMHO, does not W&D. Wasn’t that a lesson from just YESTERDAY? (Lord, if you aren’t going don’t let me go either). I’m good with that. I want “God” certainty if at all available.
So, the big challenge for Nehemiah and certainly for me, is not wondering if we know what we are requesting. We have had that answer – for months in N’s case. We know how to approach the problem; we just need the right kind of confidence to walk through the open door. After 4 months of preparation, a speed dial prayer to the God of heaven was for Nehemiah the equivalent of: “Ok, I think this is you Lord, here I go…”
“If it pleases the king…”
Interesting aside about Nehemiah and Queen Esther