Sunday, March 27, 2011
Have you ever been overwhelmed by a daunting task that you were facing? I have. The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of action, decision, and indecision as I accepted an offer on the sale of my house. After trying to sell the house for nearly two years, I have discovered that decisions about my future come down to just a few short days. I’ve lost my “balance” during this time as my routine has been turned upside down but soon I’ll regain my equilibrium and I will return to normalcy. There are also times in our spiritual journey when we become overwhelmed by a daunting task God asks us to face. Sometimes we lose our sense of balance and our world gets turned upside down when God calls us into action. I heard two friends this week describe the feelings of fear, inadequacy, and doubt that plagued them as they faced a challenge God was calling them to enter. When they both relinquished control to God, he gave them a sense of peace and fulfillment. Nehemiah serves as a living testimony of what God can do when ordinary people are called to face a daunting task. We can learn three P’s that will help us move from daunting to daring. Nehemiah spent much time in prayer, fasting, and mourning when he was faced with a challenge in his country. “When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. 5 Then I said, “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer!” Nehemiah 1:4-6 He was terrified to approach King Artaxerxes to ask for permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls. When he petitioned the king, Nehemiah had prepared beforehand all the details to help him accomplish the task. The king asked Nehemiah how long the task would take and when he would return, then gave Nehemiah permission to go. So Nehemiah, out of love for God and His people willingly left the comfortable court life behind and as the new governor headed with a select few toward his troubled land 1,000 miles away. More than two months later he arrived at the devastation that was once Jerusalem and assumed duties as its governor. After prayer and preparation, Nehemiah took positive action. Did Nehemiah experience imbalance? Yes, he must have felt some sense of disequilibrium when he was contemplating going to the King and then when he moved to a faraway place. How did he cope or regain his equilibrium? Through prayer and diligent preparation Nehemiah forward in positive action. What can we learn from Nehemiah about keeping our balance and facing daunting tasks? Pray about our circumstances. Pray about our schedules. Prepare – Learn about our challenges and determine our options Positive Action - Act – do something. Move forward in confidence. When we face a daunting task, let’s pray the prayer of Nehemiah, prepare ourselves through study, and then move forward.