“So we built the wall.”
Nehemiah 4:6a ESV
What a wonderful summary. We’ve listed all the workers in charge of certain sections and gates of the rebuilding project. We’ve examined the meaning of their names and significance of their locations. We’ve looked at Sanballat and Tobiah’s mockery toward Nehemiah and his crew – once they heard the people had been unified under a single cause and the building had begun. We watched the governor’s response to insults, slander, and rejection: troop-rallying prayer to the One Who called him to the task.
“So we built the wall.”
Sometimes it’s as simple as that. We trust Him to draw hearts together in unity, we face the evil one’s persecution head on, we hand it over to God, and we build anyway.
What are you building? There’s no lack of things in our lives and this world that need built. And rebuilt. Are you building your faith? Your community? Your family and generational wreckage?
Are you rebuilding your home or city after a hurricane or tornado or earthquake? Are you building those in need into your budget – financial and emotional?
Are you building your prayer life so you don’t take the world and place it squarely on your shoulders? Are you rebuilding a relationship or stepping out in faith to start a new one? Are you rebuilding trust toward someone? Do you put your energy toward building relationships among your neighbors?
Are you building a career from scratch? Or starting over and rebuilding a business? Are you building a strong family on less than a living wage? And rebuilding your life and dignity after betrayal and heartbreak? Are you building a degree you’ll need for your next step?
Are you building a ministry – not because you want praise but because He deserves it? Are you rebuilding after a tragic loss of a loved one? Or a rejection? Are you rebuilding your soul in Him after a season of depression? Or addiction and its consequences?
Are you throwing in to rebuild an unjust city government? Or a more diverse (accurate) representation for that city? Maybe you are doing this on the state or national level? Seeking liberty and justice for all.
Are you building business practices that take into account all of humanity and not simply the bottom line? Are you making sure to see all humans as image bearers as you build?
Are you building alongside God as He rebuilds His Church in the west? Are you leaning into the personal, intimate rebuilding that requires in your own soul first? And the way it can reorder all your relationships?
Are you watching as God rebuilds the structure of our racial identity as a nation? And joining His work to preserve dignity and uproot evil? Or maybe sitting down and listening in this convo. Because Pentecost reversed Babel and everything that His Kingdom touches is set ablaze with holiness and unity?
Are you looking deep in the eyes of the lost or forgotten or rejected or wounded? And building up in His Spirit their spirits? Showing them their worth in Him and rebuilding their desire to fulfill their purpose in creation?
Are you building a home or a garden or a more gentle household? Are you building a bigger table? One that includes voices that differ from yours? Are you building another language – one that helps you serve a neighbor who is a refugee, a friend down the street who is struggling with your native tongue, or a traumatized teen who speaks in riddles and pushes you away?
Or maybe you’re building a language because He’s asked you to travel somewhere else. And build on what He’s already begun among a people who are not yet worshipping Him in their unique way – the way He created them to. And maybe that travel opportunity is disguised as military deployment or business relocation.
Are you by chance building more just practices for both genders? And facing squarely in your heart what is unjust in this area? While trusting His design for humanity?
Are you building art or science or mathematical concepts to His glory? Are you building roads and bridges and bridges to His Kingdom? Are you sweeping floors and changing diapers and building your desire to serve?
Are you washing feet, laying down your life, and rebuilding your identity in Him alone?
Welcome. Welcome to the Kingdom work of building. Yes, it’s work. Any saint who has been building at His lead for 40 years or more would most likely say it is tiring. In fact, it can look more like demolition than building sometimes. The tired is real.
But ultimately it’s the good kind of tired. The kind that only comes from joining a movement of His Spirit and the forward momentum of building the New Jerusalem here and now. Then forever.
And we are not alone in the work. Or if we are, reevaluation might be necessary. It’s not by might nor power. What needs to be done can only come from the same Spirit that raises the dead, moves mountains, and sews together every detail of our bodies and dreams.
He makes all things new. And us joining Him in that work is Plan A. Let’s build.