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And you thought
forgot what I was doing…
A couple of weeks ago I started this series on Nehemiah and how the re-building of the wall relates to the Building of The Nest for The Sparrow’s Nest. I bet you thought I wasn’t devoted to finishing this series. But…
In Chapter 4 of Nehemiah we read Nehemiah and the people were facing great opposition to the rebuilding of the wall. But despite the frustration and distractions verse 6 tells us they “rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.”
We’re getting into that time of year when we’re distracted by really good wholesome things, not at all like the evil Nehemiah faced. But Fall is starting, college football is in full swing, kids soccer is every weekend, and all those holidays are coming. With all that being said, we have fabulous momentum going. This is the time, just like Nehemiah, to put our noses to the grindstone and get the Nest built. This is the time to constantly be putting the word out, to be creative in our planning and implementation, and to give sacrificially to this ministry.
So, you may have thought I had forgotten about writing this series. But I’ll reply rather snarkily in a biblical manner:
I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.
Why should the work stop…” Nehemiah 6:3
This is the time to fully devote ourselves. Just as Nehemiah and the wall builders devoted themselves to building a legacy that would last generations, we need to devote ourselves to this work. Just as Nehemiah and the wall builders devoted themselves to hard work despite financial and provisional struggles, we need to devote ourselves to finding every resource available to Build The Nest
And just like Nehemiah and the wall builders stated as recorded in Nehemiah 5:16 “Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall.” We need to state:
We devote ourselves to the work of building the nest for The Sparrow’s Nest.
Can we count on you? Are you devoted?
Priests to Perfume Makers
Nehemiah 3: 8-9 Uzziel son of Haraiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hanaiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that.
One of the most fascinating things to me about this passage is the diversity of the workers. Nehemiah inspired priests, goldsmiths, rulers of other districts, countrymen, and even a perfume maker to rebuild the wall . He cast such a vision that anyone with a heartbeat and hands could make a difference and significantly contribute. The passage that caught me up is found in Chapter 4 of Nehemiah. Verse 19 says Then I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
This resonated so strongly for me. Our volunteers and workers mostly work independently. We don’t have central location for every one to gather and meet, to hear the trumpet when they are attacked, or scared, or overwhelmed. But these are not things to hold us back. We have a common goal . We have common timeline. We have a common passion. We come from all walks of life. All levels of education. Gifts and talents and every sort of personality marks the identity of our phenomenal volunteer force. God has brought together a unique group of individuals into his vision for The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home.
Our tasks are spread out of a large time span. But I want our volunteers, our own wall builders to know that even though the work is extensive and spread out that you are doing an incredible work. Especially this coming fall, we have some tasks before us, primarily fully funding this vision, and YOU are key! You are building your legacy in your own Jerusalem just as Nehemiah did in 500 B.C.
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Do you remember when your toddler was learning to build with blocks? They would take those 2 or 3 blocks with those little mitten hands and try over and over again to stack them up successfully. During the process they would undoubtedly get frustrated when the blocks would fall over. They might eventually throw them or trying to push down even harder to get them to stay stacked. The irony is the pure joy they get in knocking them down again themselves. 🙂
My heart was drawn to a different type of building this morning. God drew me into Nehemiah. He’s been whispering parts of this story to me for a year and I’ve only read and studied it bits and pieces. This morning I read its entirety and God has brought me to my knees.
The parallels between Nehemiah rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem and our building The Sparrow’s Nest are obvious. But I just wanted to share a few points that God specifically showed me this morning.This week I’ll share a 4 part series over what God gave me from Nehemiah.
1. Prayer : It seems so obvious. But Nehemiah gives us the example at every start, every turn, every adversary, every thanksgiving to pray to God .
Nehemiah 1:10-11 They are your servants and your people, who you have redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. O, Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
Nehemiah’s heart had been broken by the despair of his people. Nehemiah knew this would be a huge undertaking . Building the wall again would not be a popular project. Nehemiah also understood he would need the support of powerful people. But the very first thing Nehemiah did was to ask God for forgiveness before favor. When Nehemiah was given the opportunity to ask permission of King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah quickly first prayed to God and then answered the King. When the opposition was in full force against rebuilding the wall, Nehemiah and his men prayed to God and made preparations to meet the threat.
I believe with all my heart in the power of prayer. I also believe we will not be successful in this endeavor without on-going, consistent, bold prayers. Just as Nehemiah did, we need support from powerful people, we need guidance and direction in our decision making, and we will need prayer warriors posted at our doors to protect the young women and those precious babies.
The next 120 days are a critical part of our history. My instinct is to get through the fall and start wrapping things down for the holidays. But God has always had a different plan. I believe God has some incredible wall building coming down the pipe this quarter and I challenge you to boldly pray what your role will be in this endeavor. I ask you to pray for generosity in spirit, time, and money. I ask you to boldly pray for protection, guidance, and direction. YOUR prayers will determine our steps.