According to our reading from Nehemiah this morning there was reason to celebrate in Jerusalem. “So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem; for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God” (Nehemiah 6:15-16). By God’s grace the restoration of Jerusalem’s defenses had been accomplished in very little time. This passage brings to mind other verses of significance. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). “The stone which the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner” (Psalm 118:22, 1 Peter 2:7). In each case scripture reminds us that God is at the very heart of our efforts. Whether we build with literal brick and mortar or strive for a spiritual structure we succeed only when we recognize God as the source of our strength.
What might we accomplish today “with the help of our God”? I don’t now about you, but this thought is both terrifying and invigorating to me. It scares me because I know that I have work to do, work that will be challenging and difficult at times. But it stirs my soul to think that with God’s help I can touch lives and offer God’s love to others. If we trust God to build the house, if we rely on the stone that the world has rejected, then we work with hope and confidence, with hearts open to possibilities that we might otherwise have missed.
Today is full of potential. May God bless it to our use and may we experience the success that comes “with the help of our God.”
Prayer: Lord, guide our living that your will be done, today and all days. In Jesus’ name. Amen.