“Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me ...” Nehemiah 2:18a (NLT)
Just south of the campus of Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky there is a historic homestead. The front part of the property in the rolling hills of central Kentucky is lined with a historic dry stacked stone wall. The term dry stacked refers to the fact that there is no mortar used when constructing the wall. The stones are fit together and stacked on top of each other. The benefit to this style of construction was that damaged parts of the wall could fairly easily be rebuilt with the same materials. While living in Wilmore I learned that restacking, or rebuilding, the wall was not as easy as it looks. There are people who spend years learning the skill of creating dry stacked stone walls. When it comes to rebuilding them, to do it right, you need expert help.
The story of Nehemiah is a lot like the stone walls I mentioned. The walls of Jerusalem were in ruins. The enemies of Jerusalem had destroyed them and left them in ruins. This was a disgrace to the Israelites, the people of God. Nehemiah was very unhappy with what this said about God to the rest of the world. He wanted to do something about this. God made a way for him to talk to the king that was holding the Israelites captive. He convinced the king to let them go and rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem. It was an amazing move and it energized the people. Nehemiah and the Israelites rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem in 52 days. It was truly a God-sized accomplishment.
At the beginning of The Book of Nehemiah we begin to see why Nehemiah was able to stand boldly before the enemy king, really the Israelite people around back breaking work, and endure through difficult opposition to accomplish this great feat. In Chapter 2 verse 18 we read, “Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me.” God’s grace enfolded Nehemiah and God’s people through the whole journey. They were not doing the work on their own. God prepared the way before the first stone was laid. God was with them even when they wanted to quit. God was with them when their enemies tried to stop them. God made a way for them to accomplish the great task that God inspired. Nehemiah knew they would succeed and he was not afraid to tell even his enemies that God’s gracious hand had been on him and he would not fail.
In most of our lives the wall of our life is in need of repair. There are sections of the wall that have deteriorated. Some of the sections that can deteriorate are our faith, relationships, attitudes, and overall outlook on life. As we seek to get started rebuilding the wall of our life the first step is to understand that God is with you. God’s gracious hand is on you. God does not want for the wall of your life to be in ruins. God wants our life to be whole, holy, and full. If there is a section of your wall you desire to rebuild remember that God’s gracious hand is on you. God wants for you to succeed. So why not get started today?
I look forward to sharing more about this with you in worship this week as we start a new message series “Rebuild.” I can’t wait to see you in church!