An Unexpected Solution To A Long-Term Problem

Has anybody ever said something and you’ve gone “Oh yeah, nah-der!” because what they’ve said has turned a great big light bulb on in your head and suddenly explained everything you’ve been dealing with about an issue you didn’t realise you had?

Like the lotto people have shown up on your doorstep, with a marching band, a parade, baton twirlers and a cheque for a million dollars in your name (no conditions, tax-free) but you DIDN’T BUY A TICKET. EVER.

I was sitting in a prayer meeting several weeks ago, and this happened: (Not the lotto…)

People were talking, praying, dealing with things, writing stuff down about things which had nothing to do with anything going on in the room, and somewhere along the line someone starts talking about Nehemiah.

When Nehemiah set out to re-build the wall of Jerusalem, they had trouble from the locals. So God gave him a strategy. They were to either work with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other, or have it close enough to grab.

Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. Nehemiah 4:17-18 (NIV)

In the areas where the builders were working and needed two hands to work on the stones, half of them watched with weapons ready so the builders could work in peace.

Remember your history?

So the bolt which came out of the blue from someone in the room, was this little gem.

‘Until the wound is healed, the wall must be defended.’

Now, this may not seem like a significant revelation. Sometimes the most significant revelations are the ones which pull the threads together from the most overlooked and ‘obvious’ position.

There are several things which impacted me in the moment.

  • It was an active example. They were participating in the process of repairing the breach around the city. They weren’t sitting down waiting for God to do something to them or for them, they were acting on His favour and dealing with the problem with Him.

  • There was opposition coming from outside the wall. The locals were in opposition to the process. They didn’t want Jerusalem rebuilt. It would mean they lost control of the area, because the nation of Israel could become a cohesive nation again.

  • It was a highly-charged situation inside the wall. They were a small band of people doing a big job in a place under heavy opposition. Even though they were technically in their own country, surrounded by their own people, they were in danger, and being in danger causes internal conflict: among other things fear and doubt.

God gave Nehemiah a strategy, and he implemented it in order to strengthen and protect the whole process of repairing the wall.

Similar to the rebuilding of Jerusalem, I have had a significant breach in the wall of who I am, and have been trying to deal with it for many years with little progress. There has been some, but it has never managed to go further than a step or two over many years.

I have grown significantly, but the hole has not been closed, and the situation has not been resolved.

I understood, sitting there in my friends lounge room, God had a new strategy for me in prayer to deal with the issue.

Over the next week or so, we hashed out what it was, and it turned out to be very simple.

This is the prayer we have prayed together, God and I: