This year has been one of the most difficult years many of us will face in our lifetime. From devastating bushfires at the start of the year, to floods and then a global pandemic. We have experienced months of isolation and recently there has been the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. The repercussions of that incident have reverberated around the world, with mass demonstrations starting in the USA, and extending to the UK & France, Mexico & Brazil, New Zealand and cities across Australia.
Is it any wonder, that out of the context of this year so many people feel frustrated and angry. Perhaps you feel this? You might feel paralysed or overwhelmed by all that is going on?
These things we are facing can feel too big for us.
The book of Nehemiah starts with the report, to the man who the book is named after, that the city of Jerusalem lay in ruins. The walls have been torn down and the gates are burned. The people seem to have lost their way and the city is a mess.
He is overwhelmed by what he hears. He can’t eat, he is in distress and breaks down weeping for this city. Yet, the surprising thing about this story is that this is not new information. This is old news. The city has been this way for 140 years. Arguably he weeps because it seems like nothing is changing, and perhaps it never will.
Humanly speaking this was a lost cause. So Nehemiah prays. He confesses that he and his people have been the cause of the hardship in the first place. He then asks God for an opportunity to play a part in changing this situation. He asks God to change the heart of the King to show favour to the plight of the Israelites.
Humanly speaking Nehemiah knows there is nothing he can do, but he also understands that prayer to God doesn’t leave us in the humanly speaking realm.
God hears and answers the prayer of Nehemiah.
Is there something that is overwhelming you, or distressing to you that humanly speaking seems impossible? If so, like Nehemiah, you don’t have to stay there. Bring it before the one who makes the impossible possible. Bring it to the one who is not limited by the “humanly speaking” realm.