TUESDAY, JANUARY 1
“As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants”
Nehemiah 1:4-6 ESV
C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity: “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of–throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
When Nehemiah heard how bad things were back in Jerusalem it lead him to weep. He eventually turned those tears into prayers. He prayed for almost 4 months. Nehemiah believed God would keep the promise to rebuild and restore Israel. In Jeremiah 29:10 God had promised, “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you My promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you.”
Rebuilding parts of our lives can be painful. The things of life that create a need to rebuild are almost always painful. One of the wisest things we can do in those seasons is to spend time in prayer. Nehemiah prayed to God for mercy, wisdom, and courage. We need those same things. Take some time to read Jeremiah 29:10-14. What are some timeless promises we can claim from those verses?