Monday, August 15, 2011

Nehemiah: What now?

As we transition back to life as a Team-of-Five, one of the biggest questions I am wrestling with is "what now?"  Maybe its a bit like re-entry after being out of the country for a long time.  Or maybe its like a spiritual high after a mission-trip.  You wonder how life could ever simply go back to normal.  You are coming home, but home will never look the same.  And really you don't even WANT it to look the same.  To just continue on would be a waste of the experience.  But in the same breath, you do have to re-establish some normalcy.

For months we have spent many of our waking hours (and some not-so-awake) trying to do what is best for 6 kids.  Especially for our nephews and niece, a huge part of our hearts and our energy was devoted to talking about and praying through what was in their best interest.  In a way, that won't change, we will always care about them and their family.  We do hope we get to continue to be involved with this story.  And we will always be interested in their well-being, but because of the change in the physical circumstances that will look drastically different going forward.

I mentioned before that I learned from Sandra Stanley (via Hatch) the Nehemiah application of doing a good work and not being distracted.  It seems that Nehemiah was fully devoted to rebuilding the wall, and reestablishing Jerusalem.  He told those that challenged him that he would not be distracted. But just one chapter earlier, in chapter 5, he DID "come down".  And he came down before the "good work" was done.  There was some family business to take care of, an economic crisis of sorts, and it was tearing the people apart.  It had to be addressed, and Nehemiah did stop what he was doing.  But I don't think he really did.  Yes, he stepped down from the physical labor of the wall.  Yes, he called the leaders together to "meet" about the problem (so also asked them to step down from the wall). But really this WAS about the wall, it was about rebuilding Jerusalem.  While the enemy threatened to distract (in chapt 6), this God given interruption was to build the forces stronger, to remove what threatened to tear apart the community of workers and actually put a stop to the wall building completely.  I'm guessing Nehemiah never took his eyes off of his primary purpose.  The only think that could make him change his course of action was believing in his heart that this brief interruption would actually enhance the success of that "good work".

I wonder if it was hard for Nehemiah to resume work on the wall. I wonder if he wanted to grab onto his role as Governor, economic counselor, and claim that as his only purpose. I wonder if it was hard to simply go back to "normal". Especially since even the normal would come with challenges and distractions. But the gates hadn't been placed, the project was not completed. In order to make the best of what they community of workers had learned through the chapter 5 "interruption", they had to continue on in the way they had originally been called- to rebuild Jerusalem.

To be honest, its hard to just simply go back to work.  But I have to believe that our primary purpose hasn't changed.  And that the only reason that God would have asked us to change our course of action was because He believed this would enhance the success of our "good work"- raising our little family.  We so firmly believe that this was not a distraction, but a God-given-interruption, that we can't WAIT to see what it means in our "wall building".  Our own little Jerusalem is still being developed, and a time that could have been used to stop our work will really only make it stronger. 

So, I'm still not sure what that means is next for us.  Just know that as you start to see this little piece of the web go back to its roots...normal family life...we are back up on the wall.  The same.  But different.


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