Sep 072014

Watch excerpts from one of my favorite movies, Facing the Giants, that help set the tone for a journey I’m on this week:

The real story is no less dramatic and profound.  The people of Israel were largely in captivity. Jerusalem, their capital, lay in ruins, the walls in shambles. Nehemiah had a vision of traveling back to his homeland and rebuilding the wall, making the city strong again. By night, he inspected the wall seeing the hopeless conditions, even the piles of rubble that blocked any future construction.

Starting the next day, he rallied the residents, inspiring them with his singleminded goal, rebuilding the wall. Priests and perfume makers, daughters and sons, goldsmiths and politians, everyone had a piece of the wall assigned to them. Check it out in Nehemiah 3.

They faced strong opposition from leaders and communities around them. So much so that they were in constant fear for the lives and livelihoods. Here’s some great quotes from Nehemiah in chapter 4, NIV:

“So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.”

“Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.”

“From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah  who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.”

I see three takeaways that can apply to us:

  1. It is necessary to band together for strength in the face of heavy competition and opposition.
  2. We are as strong as the lowest point on the wall.
  3. It took everyone, from every background and ability, to get the job done.

No single individual, family, or profession can complete the task alone. We are not all of the same size or ability. When one part of the wall is incomplete, the enemy can still enter, making the wall ineffective. Diversity, united in a common purpose, yields phenomenal results in the face of great adversity.

What wall do you need to build? Hospitals face challenges keeping their mission focus, serving their communities with quality and efficiency. Churches lose hurting members every day, parts of the wall that need shoring up. Families are weakened when a member is weighed down with discouragement, overwork, or depression. No matter what wall you need to build, success will be achieved only by applying the Nehemiah lessons. What section of the wall around you needs help today?

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