December 18th - Day 22 | Promises: An Advent Family Devotional
“1 In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3 I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' graves, that I may rebuild it…And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.”
- Nehemiah 2:1-5
Have you ever tried to rebuild anything?
Rebuilding something is hard work. Many times it almost seems easier to start from scratch rather than take on the task of rebuilding something that is broken. Whether it is rebuilding a broken computer, a damaged home, or a fractured relationship, rebuilding isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is so worth the effort.
Nehemiah had grown up as one of God’s chosen people living in a foreign land with people who didn’t believe as he did. The Lord allowed Nehemiah to rise through the ranks to become cupbearer to the king. This job wasn’t just to be the wine tasting guinea pig to ensure the king wasn’t being poisoned. Nehemiah oversaw all of the king’s vineyards and managed everything from the growing and harvesting of the grapes to the wine’s final completion. The king trusted him completely.
As Nehemiah heard the news that the most important city in his homeland was defenseless, having their walls broken down, he was overcome with a burden to do something. What could he do from so far away? He fasted and prayed for the Lord to reveal what he should do. As his sadness became visible before the king, and he was asked what was wrong, He knew God had picked this moment. He asked the king to allow him to go back to his homeland to manage the rebuilding effort, and he asked the pagan king to pay for it. The king said, “YES!”.
As you hang your ornament, remember, whatever God calls you to do, He will always provide the resources to accomplish it!