God, help me to be open to Your guidance, and then to be bold to follow when I receive it.
Read NEHEMIAH 2:11–20
 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days  I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.  By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire.  Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through;  so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate.  The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.  Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.”  I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.  But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”  I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat obstacles stood before Nehemiah?
One dark December evening four ladies of assorted age set out on a mission! Like Nehemiah we were sizing up the territory, preparing to build, working together to divide up the labor, and not telling anyone what we were up to. But our mission was rather more light-hearted than Nehemiah’s—we were making preparations for a charity stunt: we had been asked to knit a huge cover for a street sign. How must Nehemiah have felt when he first saw the ruins, eerily highlighted by the moonlight? There wasn’t even enough room for a donkey to pass through (14). What thoughts went through his head about the size of the challenge? Whatever they were, he was not cast down. He has sought God, done his reconnaissance and is ready to approach the people with his awesome plan. And they are equally ready for action (18). We rarely have to rebuild physical walls, but there are many circumstances we might face in our lives where we can learn from Nehemiah’s principles. When troubles come we can react in two ways: accept defeat, or plan to rebuild.
Be attentive and responsive if God presents a task that seems a bit crazy—to you as well as onlookers.
Lord, help me to be sensitive as Nehemiah was, confident that I hear You and You are speaking to my heart.
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