“Why can’t I enjoy one day without trouble coming at me from all directions?” Bonnie asked.
I had asked myself that very question more than once. “Most people have asked that same question, Bonnie.”
She sighed. “I’m trying so hard to build a strong family.” She took tissue from her purse and dabbed her eyes.
“Each day, I get up and vow to be loving and patient with my family. Today, my son spilled juice at the table twice, and my daughter said, ‘Mommy, I forgot to tell you that I volunteered to take cupcakes to school today.’
“To make matters worse, my husband said he invited his boss to dinner and knew I wouldn’t mind.”
“What did you do?”
“I screamed. I never get a moment free. I would love to eat one meal in peace and have a quiet evening of rest and relaxation.”
After Bonnie said that, I told her about Nehemiah. He was determined to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arab “mocked and ridiculed [Nehemiah and the people who volunteered to help him]” (Nehemiah 2:19).
Nehemiah 4:8 says, Sanballat, Tobiah and the men of Ashdod “all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.”
The Jewish people didn’t give up. Verse 9 says, “But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.”
In verses 16-17 Nehemiah said, “From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor . . . Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other.”
Bonnie scratched her head and said, “I don’t have spears, shields, bows and armor. How does that apply to me?”
“Start your day by putting on God’s spiritual armor to protect you from the enemy and pray off and on throughout the day.”
I warned her not to fight alone but to get her sisters in Christ to pray for her.
“Did Nehemiah and his helpers finish the wall?”
I smiled. I told her how they finished in fifty-two days. “When their enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid” (Nehemiah 6:15).
Nehemiah continues in that same verse, [Their enemies] “lost their self-confidence because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.”
As I squeezed Bonnie’s hand, I said, “Your enemy the devil and his demons cannot beat the power of prayer and God’s help. You can build a strong family just as Nehemiah and his helpers built the wall around Jerusalem.”
What do you want to build? Do you feel discouraged because of the opposition you face? I encourage you to pray as Nehemiah and the people did and to be on guard at all times with the armor of God.
Copyright © by Yvonne Ortega March 28, 2016