"....The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and it gates have burned with fire" When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days, I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace."
Selected verses from Nehemiah 1 and 2
Beautiful Jerusalem, capital city of the Kingdom of Israel. At its highest point in Solomon's time it housed both the temple and the palace. Even the queen of Sheba was amazed when she saw the magnificence that was Jerusalem. But Jerusalem was eventually conquered, her sons and daughters taken into exile. Now, the people are 'free' but what they saw when they returned home made them weep.
It is one thing never to have experienced good times, one can adapt. The one who was born blind does not see black or darkness, he sees nothing. The one who was not born blind curses the blackness, the nothing. He remembers the brilliance of the rainbow, blue clouds, green grass, the redness of the earth. So it was with Nehemiah when he heard news from Jerusalem. From magnificence and opulence to broken walls and burnt gates.
Some of us can relate to this situation. There was a time that just the mention of his name brought a smile to your face but now something has broken. The business you've worked so hard to build seems to be in ruins. Broken relationships, broken dreams, ashes of what once was. We sit and weep for we remember how things once were. The past is not always painful, sometimes its beauty makes the present struggles that much hard to endure. Jerusalem was once a beautiful place to live, work and play. Nigeria too (hmm).
There is nothing wrong with crying but our response must never end there. Nehemiah mourned, fasted and prayed before the God of heaven and then he took action. Nehemiah is a 'type' for a godly leader. Not someone who professes to be a good leader, for a good leader does not need to say he is one. His works and posterity judge him for good or evil. Nehemiah's 'voice' was to rebuild the wall of Jeremiah. Walls are very important, even more so in Bible times. Walls speak of security and protection. To keep out what needs to stay out.
It takes courage to rebuild anything. Sometimes its just easier to start from scratch. But sometimes we don't have that option. To re-build means doing something again, there was a building, there was a business, there was a career, there was a marriage, there are children, but we need to re-build again. Go with God, find your voice. We will rebuild our lives, we will rebuild our nation. The walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in record time because the people came together. Read the story a bit further, there was opposition at every turn (Sanballat and Tobiah) so there will be obstacles but we must develop a tenacity to rebuild our lives, against all odds.
Finding my voice, using it.