I thought I could handle this one myself. That I didn’t need help from others.
A ‘pioneering, do-it-yourself’ attitude had worked its way into the rebuilding of my life.
I thought to myself ‘I don’t need others to know what is going on, I can handle it all, it will work out ok.’
Yet, whatever is churning over and over on the inside will in time make its way to the outside.
You see, we are interconnected. More so than we would like to think. There is a divine connectedness of interrelationship.
Last night I watched the news and saw the children of Syrian refugees washed up on the shore of some distant Greek Island. My heart sank along with millions of others.
‘How long Lord will we have to have such suffering in this world’ was my prayerful cry.
Then I thought of this blog post that I have been churning over for the past week. ‘What is it from Nehemiah that you. Lord, want me to be bring’?
In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was served him, I carried the wine and gave it to the king. Now, I had never been sad in his presence before.
So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid.
I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my ancestors’ graves, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.
Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ graves, so that I may rebuild it.”
The king said to me (the queen also was sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a date.
Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may grant me passage until I arrive in Judah; and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, directing him to give me timber to make beams for the gates of the temple fortress, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.”
And the king granted me what I asked, for the gracious hand of my God was upon me. Nehemiah 2:1-8
Recently I have been reading 66 Love letters by Larry Crabb. In this wonderful book Larry works his way prayerfully through each of the books of the Bible and treats them each as a Love letter from God. He has a conversation with Papa.
So here is what I hear Papa saying.
When you pray, and Nehemiah was in prayer for four months, a battle ensues. A battle of the heart to do things your own way or to wait and allow my hand to change the courses of a mans heart.
When you pray like Nehemiah did some thing deeply good happens in your own heart and in mine. We connect, power is released and the world starts to change.
Nehemiah carried a burden, my burden for my people. This captured everything in him to a point where grief and sadness became the cloak he wore, with me. He took on a portion of my heart. He groaned along with Spirit for my what groaned within me.
At the right time the right people started to notice. Nehemiah got a huge fright at being found out, but through a quick prayer to me he found the confidence to speak his heart.
The wheels of change started to turn. Ideas flowed, questions asked, letters written. Hope began to trickle into Nehemiahs heart.
Rebuilding a persons life takes time and it always begins with an immersion in prayer.
Prayer that invites me into the journey. To walk alongside – think Emmaus walk here.
You see I want you to be completely dependant on me for your rebuild. When you are in this state of presence it is then that I can do my greatest work.
The invite I hear Papa speaking to me is to pray more and Google less. Isn’t it so easy to go off to Google for help before we go to God.
In the rebuilding of a life, whether it be your own or someone elses, there is an invite to partnership with the triune presence of God. Papa, Spirit and Jesus.
In this context Nehemiah prayed and supernatural mechanics were switched into gear. The wheels started to move and the heart of a King was opened.
The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases. People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart. Proverbs 21:1, 2
Perhaps the invite is to pray more and fret less. To be consumed with knowing God in the now.
Waiting with expectant hopefulness that doors will be opened, questions asked, and rich conversations had.
Perhaps we too will sense the warm touch of a ‘gracious hand’ upon us.
Quotes to consider
- The living God can be appealed to for aid only by first of all being asked to turn, appear, hear, and cause his countenance to shine forth. God is neither a rescue machine nor a supernatural force. God is a person, and one can ask him for help only when that personhood is taken seriously. Claus Westermann
- I am inadequate. You are inadequate. I do not have an inferiority complex. I am inferior. I do not have adequacy complex. I am really inadequate. I am inadequate for what? Well, to achieve supernatural goals. I need supernatural resources. Larry Crabb
- “My nature, what comes naturally to Me, is to live for the well-being of others at any cost to Myself. Your nature, what comes naturally to you, is to live for your own well-being at any cost to Me or to others. My nature, the holy inclination to love, is now in you. When you relate in the energy of that inclination, you are relating not naturally but supernaturally, above and in conflict with your natural inclination. Expect a battle.” 66 Love Letters Larry Crabb
Questions to answer
- Are we more dependant on Google than we are on God?
- Why do we fear inadequacy?
- When have you sensed that the ‘gracious hand of my God was upon’ you?
Prayer to pray.
Lord the rebuild is beyond my scope to orchestrate alone.
I need you and I sit at your feet in prayerful dependency.
I pray, along with Spirit, that you ‘guide the hearts of Kings’, those that partner with us in the rebuild, to flow ‘like a stream’ wherever you please.
Open my senses to see your subtle touches in my world.
May I pour forth gratitude upon gratitude for every little sense of connectedness I have with your master rebuild plan.
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