Rebuilding is hard work even when you have help. As Nehemiah worked to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, there were many who opposed him. People came along and taunted him, “If a fox climbed that wall, it would fall to pieces under his weight.” Others planned to attack them as they built. They didn’t want the wall rebuilt and the people living in safety. There were internal distractions from arguments among the workers too. It seemed that everything and everyone was against the rebuilding of the wall, but Nehemiah kept at it. He prayed and encouraged those daily who we’re rebuilding. He kept their focus on the job at hand.
Each one of us have times of rebuilding in our lives. Sometimes that rebuilding is more like a remodel. Sometimes it’s repairing holes in our wall that were created from bad decisions. Other times the whole wall around our lives lies in ruins. Everything we had or worked hard to build crumbled and fell right in front of us. It makes you feel lost, unprotected and vulnerable. There’s so much work to do to rebuild that you don’t know where to start. You want to just give up and live in the ruins. You try to rebuild one part of your life and another falls down. It’s hopeless.
I think that’s how he people of Jerusalem were in the book of Nehemiah. They had gotten used to living in the ruble and had quit trying to rebuild. Their lives were sad. They had no joy or sense of protection. They had to rely on others to protect them and were treated poorly. It wasn’t until Nehemiah came along and got them excited about rebuilding that they began to change back into who they were made to be. He encouraged them daily, prayed over them and helped them rebuild the walls. He helped them protect themselves against attacks and rebuilt their confidence with the building of the wall.
Yes, there were distractions, times where the work slowed down and people who tried to hold them back. There will be the same things in your life when you try to repair or rebuild your life. There will be people who try to hold you down, pull you backwards or taunt you. Nehemiah didn’t get down off the wall or stop working though. Instead, he set up people at the breaches in the wall to stand guard. He had the workers rebuild with one hand and hold a sword in their other.
You will need to ask people to stand in the gaps for you where you’re most vulnerable. You’ll need to stay in the Bible constantly as it is your weapon. Ephesians 6 says, “Take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” The Message calls it an “indispensable weapon”. There will be those who oppose you. Stay constant in prayer so that you hear God’s voice above theirs. Above all, never give up. Keep working. Keep building. Don’t get used to living in the ruins. God’s desire is that you rebuild. Find someone who will encourage you daily to keep building and who will pray for you. Before you know it, the walls will be repaired and new life can begin.