There I was walking in confidence, walking out my calling, using my gifts, feeling good…then it hit me. Insecurity. I finally had time to pause and step back to look at what I had worked on and insecurity taunted me with questions and comments like:
Was this just a waste of time? No one will be touched by this. Are you sure this is not your gifting or calling? Maybe this was just you, striving in the wrong direction…again.
Perhaps you have been there.
When I start wallowing in negative emotions I turn to my Bible. That day I turned to Nehemiah. God put a passion on Nehemiah’s heart to rebuild Jerusalem and restore its people’s obedience to God. One guy, no resources, tasked to rebuild a whole city. Not to be a spoiler, but he did it. I encourage you to learn how by reading Nehemiah; it’s amazing how God empowered and resourced him. But I want to fast forward to the end of the story.
Nehemiah’s original goal was to restore the city to glorify God. Not only did he rebuild the physical city but he put the community in order. He made sure the people reread the law of God and instructed them on right living to glorify God. Then after all that work, after using his gifts of leadership and planning and organization, the people defiled the rebuilt city by dishonoring God.
In chapter 13 Nehemiah once again returns to the city and tries to lead the people back to God. Sadly, the book is anticlimactic and ends with Nehemiah listing for God the good works he did despite the outcome and asking God to, “Remember me, my God, with favor.”
After reading this I felt a bit angry with Nehemiah. I thought to myself, “so he just threw his hands in the air as if to say, ‘oh well, I tried’?” Why wasn’t he more invested in the outcome?
Then I remembered all the years he invested in doing what God had called him to do. He found the raw material to build walls, he recruited workers to rebuild, he retaught God’s law and reminded the people to worship, he organized the people and encouraged obedience to God. Do you know where he could have been all this time? In a plush palace sitting with the King. This is an invested man. Perhaps he just knew where to invest and when to let go.
God had assigned him with a task, not an outcome. He invested himself in the work God set before him and then he left the rest to God. Nehemiah reminds me to keep my eyes on two things, God, and the work he has given me. The outcome belongs to Him.
Through Nehemiah’s story, God reminds me that this is a race, not a sprint. He reminds me that following him takes endurance and patience and trust. He teaches me that I may work hard and never see the outcome I hope to see. Still, the work he sets before me is meaningful and part of a bigger picture.
This restores my confidence. This rebuilds my faith and allows me to slam the door shut on insecurity. Thank God for stories in the Bible that remind me and teach me what it looks like to walk out my faith in the day-to-day.
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I'm just a girl, standing before my God, knowing that He loves me and wanting others to know that love too.