Have you ever received bad news? What was the news? How did it make you feel? What did you want to do about it? Was there anything you could do about it?
Nehemiah hears bad news. It's news that Jerusalem, the city of God, is in disrepair - broken down walls, gates on fire, people in great trouble and shame.
And when Nehemiah hears this, he sits down and he weeps and mourns for days. Doesn't sound like much of a response, does it? He's heartbroken, but his tears transform to prayers and his prayers prompt him to action.
What breaks your heart? A wayward child? A troubled marriage? A sick parent? A debilitating disease? An addiction you can't break? A mistake you can't get past? A natural disaster? A shooter opening fire during a concert?
As we begin a journey through the book of Nehemiah we will meet a man who says it's okay to have a broken heart, but it is not okay for our broken hearts to paralyze us. God has called us to prayer and prayer prompts us to act.
Nehemiah reminds us that in the best of times and in the worst of times God is on His throne. And when our hearts break God's ear is still attentive and his eyes are still open. He is the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments. (1:5)
May we be a people whose hearts break for the things that break God's heart. May we be a people whose tears transform to prayers. May we be a people whose prayers prompt us to action. May we hear the call to REBUILD, RENEW and RESTORE and may God grant us grace to answer the call.
See you Sunday,