THURSDAY, JANUARY 3
“Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us”
Nehemiah 2:17-19 ESV
REBUILDING: SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
The 4,000-mile-long Great Wall of China was built to keep invaders from the north. The first wall was constructed by Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China, who lived between 259 – 210 BC. But in AD 1644 the Manchus broke through the Great Wall and overran China. They did this by bribing a general of the Ming dynasty to open the gates. During the reconstruction of ancient Jerusalem, Nehemiah understood the acute danger posed by those who opposed the rebuilding of the city’s ruined walls. So he commanded constant vigilance. Half of the workers were to stand watch while half rebuilt the walls. (Ajai Prakash, Breach in the Wall)
Nehemiah invited others into his life and work who shared a burden and passion for the work he was doing. At the same time there were outside “haters” who were trying to discourage him. Finding the right people can “strengthen our hands for good work.” But having the wrong people around us can be discouraging.
This last year was supposedly a rebuilding year for the Atlanta Braves. However, they surprised the baseball world by having a great team, winning their division and making the playoffs. What would it look like for you to have a surprise team for this year of rebuilding certain areas of your life? Who are the “haters” that you may have to not let speak into your life? Ask God to help you build the right team around you.