For the People Had a Mind to Work

close up photo of a condenser microphone

Nehemiah tells us that the Jewish returned exiles finished the wall, even in the face of Sanballat’s mockery, because the people had a mind to work. They didn’t seem to care that Sanballat was over there saying, “What do these feeble Jews think they are doing? Will they rebuild out of the heaps of rubbish which are burned?” And Tobiah added, “Even if a fox went up on the wall, he would break it down.”
We love the story. But we can’t simply love it in theory. What do you do when you are working on a project that really does need improvement? How do you respond when the wall you are building starts to wobble and your fellow brick-layer starts to look like he’s dreaming about how nice he had it back in Babylon?
Everyone wants to be the guy who lays the last brick on the unshakeable fortress. Everyone wants to enjoy the protection of the fortresses’ high walls. Everybody wants to play for the Chicago Bulls in the ’90s Michael Jordan era when all of the three-pointers seemed to fall, and the wins came easy. But there is a world of difference between wanting to cultivate a lovely family, church, or community and simply wanting to live in one. Working and keeping the garden is not the same thing as eating its fruits.
God has called us to build and fight in the day of adversity. And Proverbs 24:10 says, “If thou faint in the day of adversity, Thy strength is small.”
So here is your exhortation: Fear not wobbles in the wall. But do fix them, having a mind to work. Pay attention, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.