"Then I sent him a letter, saying, 'No such things as you say have been done; you are inventing them out of your own mind' - for they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, 'Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.' But now, O God, strengthen my hands."
Nehemiah & a band of Israelites have returned from Babylonian captivity and are attempting to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. This was a very good thing for the people of Israel, but their "enemies" were not happy one bit. Nehemiah tells us that "Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab" in particular were upset at these developments. They tried to lure Nehemiah away from the city to do him harm. They tried to get him to run afraid into the Temple, to smear his reputation among his own people. They even tried making false testimony against him to the Babylonian king. But Nehemiah wouldn't budget. He recognized it for what it truly was - attempts to get him to stop the project. In the end, Nehemiah resolutely prays, "But now, O God, strengthen my hands."
I love that short prayer! Seven words. One message. "But now, O God, strengthen my hands." The Bible tells us over and over that the ways of God will be opposed by others. It happens all the time. So first, let us not be surprised when it does happen! We should expect conflict & opposition. Second, don't let it get us down! If what we are doing is truly a "God thing," then take courage and pray that God will strengthen our hands... no matter what we may be up against!
For all that you are calling me to do at Aiea UMC... Lord, strengthen my hands.
For all that you are calling me to do in my family... Lord, strengthen my hands.
For all that you are calling me to change in my own heart... Lord, strengthen my hands.
For who you are calling me to be in the world around me... Lord, strengthen my hands.