There was a time in my life I looked around and saw my people in disarray, the walls were broken down and discouragement, sadness, and yes, even hopelessness were the prevailing winds of this season.
There was no strength...none of our man-made security was enough to hold us steady.
I imagined myself much like Nehemiah, grieving the state of his scattered and distraught people and his ruined hometown - Jerusalem.
I asked myself, and God, on a daily basis - perhaps multiple times daily - "How did we get here?"
I wonder if Nehemiah did as well. He and his people were the people of God.
We are also the people of God. Followers of Jesus. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.
Believers...holding firm to the Word of God....the blood of Jesus...forgiveness and redemption through Jesus' finished work on the cross.
Ahhhh, but hadn't we, like the Israelites of old, Nehemiah's era; hadn't we relied more and more on our own strength...our own abilities? Hadn't we wandered a bit?
JOY and STRENGTH
And they both come from Him...the LORD!
As I looked backward through Nehemiah for context, I realized this declaration was made in Jerusalem by the Priest, Ezra, when the word of the LORD had been restored to God's people.
Nehemiah was grieved over the devastating report he had received regarding Jerusalem. He repented before the Lord on behalf of his people, and Nehemiah was given favor by a pagan king to go and rebuild the wall. He was blessed by God to go home and restore his people and their city of Jerusalem.
I prayed. I repented. I confessed my weakness. I asked for favor...and wisdom...His power because we had none of our own.
By God's Grace and His Strength, our walls are rebuilt. Our people are continually being restored. We rejoice in God's goodness and faithfulness to us... even when we haven't been either, good or faithful.
And I testify...today....The JOY of the LORD is my strength!
Blessings of GREAT JOY on your amazing adventure journey with Jesus!
LisaLinking up with Karen Beth for Tuesday @ Ten with this week's prompt word - Strength.
Also, linking up with Anita Ojeda for Inspire Me Monday.