Sometimes I just need giant encouragement. Are you ever like that? I thought I would get “so mature” that life would not seem hard, even if it was. But to my surprise, life seems hard when it is hard. That is usually when my loving Lord looks down and decides I need to be challenged and encouraged to “keep on keeping on”.
So one day I was reading Nehemiah 3 & 4 and there it was! You probably know the story. Nehemiah received the news of the difficult time his people in Jerusalem were experiencing. He immediately began to grieve and pray to God for help for the people. The people were disgraced because the walls were broken down and the gates had been burned. This news upset Nehemiah so much that he was unable to hide his sadness from King Artaxerxes whom he served. In his prayer, he asked for favor from the king and permission to return to Jerusalem to help rebuild it. God answered that prayer and sent him home to Jerusalem!!
Upon his return, Nehemiah encountered all kinds of troubling problems which I will not go into here. BUT, he DIDN’T STOP! I decided I would call those chapters, “Nehemiah the Determined” or “Nothing Will Stop Us!”
The following verse vividly portrays Nehemiah’s attitude about rebuilding. “We all slept in our clothes — And each one kept his spear in his hand, even when getting water”. I was impressed and challenged with this man. I want to be like him! I noticed he spent no time bemoaning how working with one hand slowed down the effort! Wow! What a determined guy!
Allow me to encourage you and me: remember Nehemiah and “keep on keeping on”.
Racial Healing — Huge Challenge — How to Help
As Scott and I continue our study about racial issues in America, we are greatly stretched and challenged. We are asking how we can help make a difference. This is a topic on many of our minds. An excellent book we have just finished and which we highly recommend is America’s Original Sin — Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis.
This is my beautiful mother-in-law all fixed up to go to church. Now this is certainly a scene for rejoicing! Sue has not been able to attend church for months. We can’t thank God enough for the precious women who stay with her. They just love her. Pam and her daughter, Addie, take turns staying with Sue nights and weekends. The thing that stands out to me is how respectful they are of my mother-in-law. If they think Sue wants to do something or that something (like going to church) means a lot to her, Pam and Addie “make it happen”. Thank you God for these two women and the other ladies who care for her daily.
Since I wrote last, we have been able to make a quick trip to Oklahoma. During our visit the the three “Shaw girls” were able to drive to Waurika and visit with our sweet momma. It was the first time all three of us could do this together and it was extra special for me. There are so many things to thank God for. I shout out a special thanks for my mom and my sisters.
In closing, no matter how hard things are, Jesus promises to give us everything we need for life and godliness.
So be encouraged. God is there for each of us and just waits for us to ask him for help.
Delores, for the two of us