So we built the wall, and all of it was joined together to half its height, for the people had a heart and mind to work. Nehemiah 4:6
Nehemiah is having to work diligently on repairing this wall. If he had worked without passion and stamina, it would take much longer, or might not even get finished. Instead, the story tells us that the work was getting done, and was making tremendous progress- because they had the heart and mind to work on it. Put this into the context of where you are right now, fighting for your marriage, standing on the hopes of reconciliation. This is half way through the fight. Patience is wearing thin, your heart is doubting. This is the point where it feels easiest to just give up and give in. Why rebuild this whole wall when you are doing everything yourself? Why rebuild at all?
This is where the Israelites were at this point, but you can see that rather than start doubting the process and the progress, they pushed in on it with vigor. This is where we begin to transform our minds into being more like God desires for us. We are in a dark place, and we cannot see the outcome, but we are exactly where we are meant to be in this journey right now, and we need to strengthen our hearts and minds in order to endure.
And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. Romans 5:4-5
Gaining the heart and mind to continue this work comes from relying on God alone to give you the strength to endure. When we want to give up, we must trust His timing. When we want to give in, we must rely on His strength. When we feel like everything is hopeless, we must choose to deny negative thoughts, and decided to believe that good things will come our way. Regardless of the outcome of the current situation, we are building up the character of who we are in Him. The ultimate goal is having trust in God that gives us the peace to say, ‘Your will be done,’ no matter how it all ends.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:13-14
As the people were building the wall, they took on the passion that Nehemiah had for the project. As they stood side by side, slathering mud and mortar onto one stone after another, sweating, skinning knuckles, and wearing out their muscles from hours and hours of work, they were encouraged to keep on because they knew that they were working towards a goal. Nehemiah was like their personal cheerleader, encouraging them, fighting for them, and shutting down the advances of those who stood against the restoration of the wall. This is what we must believe in when we think of how God is standing beside us through this. If we realize that God is right beside us, encouraging us to just keep going, we will begin to see the joy in the labor, the passion of the journey, and we will begin to develop the heart and mind to continue our work.
Are you at the place where you just want to give up?
Would you feel more encouraged if you were able to picture God beside you as you go through this time?