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When I saw this quote in my Women of Character book it was referring to Orpah (Ruth’s sister-in law) however, I immediately thought about Nehemiah. Nehemiah is one of my favorite biblical characters. I admire his love for his people, his strength and his dedication.
When we first meet Nehemiah in chapter one he’s just gotten news from home.
3They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. Nehemiah 1:3 NIVAs you can see, the news wasn’t good news. The wall of Jerusalem, which was a form of protection from the enemy had been torn down. Nehemiah’s heart was touched by the plight of his people and he immediately went into fasting and prayer as to what God would have him to do.
4. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.11. Oh Lord let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.I was cupbearer to the king. Nehemiah 1:4,11What stood out to me in this verse is when Nehemiah said, I was cupbearer to the king. I’m not certain what the job entailed but I do know that Nehemiah was in a comfortable position away from all that was happening at home. You can go as far as to say Nehemiah was in a comfort zone.
Isn’t it just like God to wait until we’re in a position in life where we feel comfortable and at peace to call us out of our comfort zone to do something quite difficult. On the other hand, isn’t it just like God to give us everything that we need to get it done?
Nehemiah was sheltered and protected within the palace walls. The lack of a wall around Jerusalem did not affect him physically. However, Nehemiah looked beyond his own comfort and well being to that of his countryman. Nehemiah made a choice that day he chose the adventurous one. Not everyone was happy when he arrived in Jerusalem and began the task of rebuilding the wall. He was ridiculed, he was threatened, he was discouraged but yet he did not give up. We see the real strength of Nehemiah’s character as he continued on in spite of all of the obstacles he encountered. He kept his eyes fixed firmly on his goal.
15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. 16. When our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah 6:15-16What’s your comfort zone? Is God calling you out of it? If he is just remember that although it may seem a difficult thing for you to do he’s going to give you everything you need to get it done. Not only that, he’ll be with you every step of the way. He’s just that kind of God.
I shared this over at Laced With Grace a while back, however I thought I'd share it again simply because I've heard God calling me out of my comfort zone recently...