My organization is facing some major changes with a new health insurance policy and for many on the field it will be a big stretch financially. This has caused a great deal of anxiety and we have been taking time to be family together and support one another in prayer.
One of my co-workers brought us to Nehemiah and I have been dwelling on his story as I’ve been praying. One of the things that stuck out to me first is that when Nehemiah heard that the walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed and that the survivors of the exile were experiencing great trouble, he mourned. It broke his heart. Then he spent days fasting and praying. He didn’t just sit in his sadness but he took it to the Lord. God’s heart is broken too when He sees us hurting, so I think when we bring this before the Lord it draws us closer to Him. Nehemiah didn’t remain in mourning but when he saw the opportunity that the Lord presented to share with the king, he took it. Again, he prayed earnestly on the spot for the right words to say in response to the King.
Often I look at all of the huge issues in the world and I am overwhelmed. My first reaction in the face of crisis is fear, worry and doubt. I do not turn immediately to fervent prayer. Too often I don’t notice the brokenness around me, or at least not enough to actually do anything about it. Nehemiah felt the pain, he took it to the Lord and sought God’s direction. He focused on God and His love and mercy and His great promises. Nehemiah kept his focus in the right direction and he was able to accomplish the task the Lord gave him.