Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Hammer in One Hand, a Sword in the Other

The burden bearers carried their loads in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and with the other held a weapon. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. Nehemiah 4: 17b-18a NRSV

I pray most mornings for the full armor of God. However, in this passage, the workers are geared for both fighting and building.

Nehemiah is determined that God's work will go on. Yet, he has enemies who try everything from sneak attacks to trickery to stop the work on the wall. But he never gives up. Instead, he looks carefully at the dangerous situation and creates a plan (verse 14) for the work to continue. He reminds the workers not to be afraid because God is on their side. He also encourages them to fight for their families and homes.

Setbacks don't bother Nehemiah. Threats cannot stop him. He knows that he is doing God's will and he is determined to find a way to carry out what God has asked of him.

I know many plans, especially in churches, that never get anywhere because folks are threatened. They become more afraid of other people than God. They pay attention to what humans want rather than what God wants. They lose their determination to see the job done.

But if God truly desires what you are trying to accomplish, there will be a way. It may be difficult and it may mean that you are going to wear different hats (perhaps one for fighting and one for building) but God will provide. Who can shut us down when God is on our side?

God, sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. We cave under threats. We let fear rule our lives. We lack determination to carry out your will and your desires in the world. Help us, God, help us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

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