Nehemiah Builders

I have become an NBA junkie. I may seem like a girly girl at first glance. I like wearing pink, have no problems wearing accessories and have an abundance of shoes. But my hair is probably just as short as your dad's, my accessories are men's watches and my favorite pair of shoes would be my Zoom Kobe V.

But this is not a post about me or basketball. Funny that I thought about the NBA when I read about Nehemiah. 

Prior to reading it today, I knew nothing of Nehemiah. I didn't even know that how to say his name (apparently it's pronounced as "nee-yeah-mah-yuh"). In the village where I currently live, all the streets are named after bible chapters . My boyfriend lived in and grew up on Nehemiah Street for 29 years. Who would have thought that this not so popular Bible character would make an impact to me now?

We've seen and heard it all --- the Bible talks about faith and hope and love.  It's interesting how that can be blurred, misread, used and abused when we wait for something to happen.

I prayed that God will give me the best job, so I won't go out and apply for one. I want to marry the love of my life, but I will stay cooped up in my room instead of going out (I trust that the Lord will provide!)  It's okay if I still don't get off this couch --- I prayed that God will help me lose weight anyway. I believed, right? I have faith.

Nehemiah had more.

The first chapter documents Nehemiah's prayer. This already shows that he put God first, but did he twiddle his thumbs and hum 'noo-nee-noo-nee-noo' after he prayed? No.

He put himself to work.

Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem was not an easy task, but Nehemiah stepped up to the plate; nothing was going to weaken him. Not the gossip, the intimidation or even his workers' discouragement dampened his spirits. He was an Energizer bunny, a burning fire that can't be put out --- and he lit this fire in others too.

What was his master plan, his secret recipe, his magic formula? He blended faith and action together. One without the other was meaningless; faith without action is the Juan Tamad syndrome, waiting for the apples to fall without shaking the tree. And action without faith? Like a headless chicken wandering aimlessly with no direction.

Nehemiah draft-picked the right people, put them to work and gave them courage when they were weary. They had hammers in one hand and swords in the other (Talk about work-life balance!). He delegated responsibilities, celebrated successes and took detractors out of the way. If Nehemiah Builders were a basketball team, he would make a great GM.

Combining spiritual fervor with targeted action was his game plan. Sometimes we get complacent after praying hard for something because of the trust that God will act on it. Remember the saying "hope for the best and God will take care of the rest"? It may be true in some cases, but God doesn't expect us to twiddle our thumbs and wait because we don't want to seem selfish. Like Nehemiah, we can pray to God for favor --- and and then get to work. There's nothing wrong with believing and putting our trust in God to reach our dreams. It only becomes wrong when we assume that faith will solely and automatically get us there.