Nehemiah prayed from a heavy broken heart; uncertain, as to how God would intervene. His final plea before God that day: “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer (Nehemiah 1:11). Continuing in prayer, he waited. Nowhere are we told that Nehemiah knew God’s plan to send him until that fateful day, four months after the first prayer. Four months of praying, waiting and anticipating God’s response weighed heavy on Nehemiah. Waiting reveals the dust bits of our own heart. Wondering, I ask; “Lord, am I the problem. My faith too shaky, my hands unclean, and my heart insincere, somehow?”
Perhaps for some, waiting causes them to doubt God’s ability or His desire to intervene in mankind’s dilemmas. Some, even doubt His existence; yet, I daresay there are many, like me; who have come to know Him as the Supreme, Sovereign, Just and Righteous God of love, mercy and grace. Then, when days, months or years pass; awaiting, anticipating God’s answer to a prayer: I don’t doubt His ability or His desire to bring me good; instead, I examine my own heart. After all that He has shown me of His Grace, I realize that lurking in the crevices of my heart bits of dust collect that need to be cleansed once more. Dust bits of pride, doubt, or selfishness; all leading to sin to crouch at the doorstep of my heart. Somehow, perhaps that was Nehemiah; because, those who wait knowing God’s plan, aren’t so burdened.
DUST BITS OF THE HEART
In this fallen world, dust and cobwebs can be found in the cleanest of homes. One moment of inattention to cleaning, they increase with a rapidity that seems unbelievable. The same is true of our hearts. When, we lay aside our Bibles, become too contented to pray, or allow other things to take God’s rightful time in our hearts; dust bits and cobwebs grow within our hearts. Then when God places us in the waiting room, the light of His truth shines in revealing all the dust bits and cobwebs needing to be cleansed. During that time of waiting for His answer, He bids us to lay every sin of thought and deed at the foot of the cross, in full surrender to His will. He will cleanse our heart, sweeping away every dust bit of pride, anger, selfishness, and the cobwebs of our doubt.
So, Nehemiah waited; while God fully cleansed and prepared his heart for the task ahead. We know that to be the case; because, when the fateful day that God revealed His plan, Nehemiah’s countenance was very sad. Once one knows for certain God’s precise plan, there is no place for sadness. The depth of his sorrow lets us know, Nehemiah did not yet know with certainty God’s plan. So, we arrive at the day of its revealing.
ONE SAD SERVENT, A KING, AND GOD’S PLAN REVEALED
And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it (Nehemiah 2:1-5).
Note that Nehemiah was afraid when the king noticed his sorrow. Another clue that Nehemiah was not certain of God’s plan yet. However, as he began to tell the king the reason of his sorrow, did light bulbs begin to go off? Wasn’t this what he had asked God for months ago, to find mercy before the king? Ah, but all the cleansing of his heart that God accomplished during that four months causes Nehemiah to pray; before, he tells King Artaxeres: “send me to build the wall.”
GOD’S PLAN: BUILD THAT WALL
Over the course of the four months, God had prepared the heart of Nehemiah to be the one to accomplish His plan. Most likely, Nehemiah was shocked that God was sending him to build the wall. However, whom better to send? He had seen the beautiful structure of the walls surrounding the palace. Furthermore, as cupbearer to the king; he had a position of prestige. Beyond that, most importantly; God had prepared his heart while in the waiting room of God. There, God had dusted away the dust bits and sweep away all the cobwebs, so Nehemiah was prepared to face the opposition and trials that lay ahead of him.
Does God have you in His waiting room? Are there prayers, you are awaiting an answer? Lay open your heart before God, knowing He has a perfect plan for you; when, you seek Him.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, Jeremiah 29:11-14
So, when the world seems hard, or you feel captive to your circumstances or sin; seek Him and search for Him. His promise: ” I will be found, and I will turn away your captivity. Then, as He prepares and cleanses your heart, keeps your eyes on Him. Trust Him; because, He is faithful and will accomplish all that He has planned.
Also, it is during those waiting moments; you might want to go back and refresh your memory of the three foundations of truth needed to always live a life of Abiding, Steadfast Joy. These I outlined for you in my book of the same title. Truths I learned over a lifetime of waiting rooms. 1. Know your place in the Universe (Hebrews 11:6) 2. Your purpose (John 17). And your position (identity) in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1-3).
DO YOU KNOW CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR?
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior: I urge you to go to my page titled How to Be Saved by clicking on this link. Because there is nothing more important than this, I urge you to seek Him today.
OR ARE YOU IN OF NEED PRAYER?
Two Newest Books Available
A labor of love, this book provides you with 3 foundations of truth from the scripture which once known will provide you with abiding, steadfast joy. Undaunted by the storms of life; your joy will overflow.
WHEN INJUSTICE AND VIOLENCE REIGN:
Through a study of Nahum, Habukkuk, and Zephaniah; I brought their message into our modern times. Answering the questions of “Why, God?”
Providing a foundation of faith and hope; even, as we see so much evil in the world and in our nation. With so much sorrow and despair, this book I wrote to guide you into discovering God’s Perfect Plan of love; amid this chaotic world filled with life’s storms.
You may click on the picture for more information on either of these books.
OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE
If you want to know more about other books I have written: You can read more about each one at: Book Resources.
©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned except for my own books. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.