After enduring a jarring time of destruction that knocked us off our feet – the past two years for many of us besotted with death, financial loss, fear, political and social unrest, and the spirit of meanness that seems to have swept like a virus across social media – we are now painstakingly rising to face a season of rebuilding.
We don’t really know what we’re doing – this type of reconstruction is unprecedented for most of us.
It’s reconstruction that’s more than just remodeling … it’s using salvageable pieces of the past to rebuild a new framework to our lives. A new normal. An untested, diversified structure that’s bolstered by desperately excavated chunks of the fallen tried-and-true structure, but mixed together with slivers and bits of fresh, new material and bound with cement made of an incredibly strong compound we’ve never before encountered.
We’ve no idea whether this new contraption will hold up against time or storms or enemy onslaught … or not.
Reminds me of the Old Testament prophet Nehemiah rebuilding the destroyed walls around Jerusalem (see Neh, chapter 2). He didn’t know what he was doing either. At least at first. He just knew he had to do something to restore the security of what had been and somehow find a workable new normal.
So Nehemiah and his neighbors – also rebuilding the walls of their own lives – got to work salvaging the ruined old and piecing together something completely new. As they poured their hearts into their work, they were attacked by the outside world for seemingly no good reason except pure greed. Repeated attacks were led by bullies who didn’t share the heart for God and His work; bullies who decided to harass them and cause trouble just because they could; bullies who didn’t mind making life miserable for others just to revel in their own power and political gain.
Yep. Sadly, history appears to be once again repeating itself today.
Nehemiah’s encouragement to his friends as they endured attack after attack from their enemies while rebuilding their wall is also applicable to us as we rebuild: “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes” (Neh. 4:14 ESV).
When Nehemiah’s enemies saw that the people would not give up, but instead joined together to keep rebuilding with even more determination, they lost their confidence and retreated. Yep. High-tailed it right out of there.
Did you catch that key phrase joined together? Because that’s important. Yep. There’s strength in numbers.
We, too, can see evil in the world all around us, but still we fight for our families, our homes, and our faith as we rebuild and restore our very lives. We cannot allow the attacks of our enemies to discourage and defeat us. We must join together, not split into even more more factions.
Let us receive spirit-encouragement from Nehemiah and face adversity with the cement of ever stronger trust in Almighty God, who has already defeated the Evil One fueling our enemies.
They just don’t know it yet.
Can’t wait to see them turn tail and run.
How about you, my friend? How’s the rebuilding going on your piece of the wall? Which other builders are you seeking to join forces with?