"But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: 'I am carrying a great work and cannot come down. Why should the work of God stop while I leave it and come down to you.'" Nehemiah 6:3
This is one of my favorite verses in the bible. Nehemiah is on a great project in which he and his team are rebuilding the walls of the once great city of Jerusalem. He was in servitude to King Artaxerxes at the time, but in an incredible miracle, the king let him go to work on the wall, and supplied the resources and safe passage to rebuild the wall.
Some enemies tried to intimidate Nehemiah from ever completing the project. They wanted to meet with him and discuss the matter in the plain of Ono, or as I like to call it, "Oh, no!" It was then that Nehemiah responded with the verse above. "I am carrying on a great work," he said. I believe God has called each of us to a great work. "Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthinans 2:9 God has called us to build great families, and to invest our lives in a way that impacts this world for good. Nehemiah knew of the greatness of his project and how important it was. He knew that the wall was the protection of the city and that if a city had a broken down wall, that the inhabitants were not safe. It was an open invitation for attack. When we know how important something is, it can keep us from being distracted. The vision of Nehemiah, to see the wall reubuilt and his people dwelling in safety, kept him focused on the task at hand. He knew a great project cannot be stopped by distractions.
In life, you and I are being contantly baited to come down from building things of true value. A friend betraying us, a spouse leaving, the disappointment of a failed business, or a wayward child, these are all things in life that attempt to call us down from the wall. We can tend to think, "What's the point, I tried it and it did not work." There are constant and persuasive voices calling us to come down and forget about building something great. Today, I am encouraging you, "Stay on the wall!" Keep building. Keep working. Grab a brick. Build something that will last; something that generations will see.
That was the attitude of Nehemiah. Nehemiah recognized the greatness of his project. He recognized that if he came down from the wall, to the plain of "Oh no," that the work of God will stop. Some people reading this have come down from the wall. You were once building something in their life. Then something stopped you. An ex hurt you, and you came down off that high place and are now in the plain of Ono, bitter and angry. The work of God has stopped in your life. The good news is the wall is waiting and there is still work to do. You don't have to die in the low plain of Oh no. Get back up on the wall and build something. You belong there. Do not let what someone else did stop you. They have no power over you unless you let them. Get back and build. There is work to do. There are gaps that need to be filled, and you are qualified to do it. And while your on the the way up, grab some bricks...
Paul Andrews is the pastor of Life Church in Augusta. He may be reached at 316-775-6100, firstname.lastname@example.org