Nehemiah’s burden was overwhelming. He saw his nation’s lack of protection, the danger they were in and the disgrace from which they suffered. They had no walls, and this was no small thing.
A nation’s walls were a sign of power and prestige. They provided dignity to citizens and garnered respect from outsiders. They also met a fundamentally practical need – they offered protection for those inside.
At first we see Nehemiah mourning and fasting. Then, in Chapter 2, we see him making the King aware of his burden. Nehemiah had not been sad in the King’s presence before, though he undoubtedly had reason to be.
He waited on the Lord, praying and planning. He surely did not put on a sad face, since that could spell trouble for those in the King’s presence. More likely, his burden became simply too heavy to hide.
When the King inquired about his sadness, Nehemiah was direct and transparent. When the King then asked what Nehemiah wished to do about it, he responded with a specific game plan and a request for resources. Only a man who had planned well beforehand could have outlined such specifics on the spot.
You are the child of the great King, not just his cupbearer. By His grace, you have access to Him whenever you want. By His power, you have at your disposal spiritual resources that cannot be matched. Do you ask? Do you consider what you might ask? Do you have a plan and a specific request?
You may not need to repair a damaged city wall, but you might have damaged relationships, either in your immediate family or your circle of influence. You may see spiritual gaps that must be closed or sense danger ahead that must be avoided. Are you going into your King’s presence boldly and asking for His help?
Let’s follow the steps of Nehemiah, taking care to keep them in order:
What grand plan is God weaving in your heart for your family? Let the Lord go ahead of you.