Rebuild. I kind of feel like that word is coming to me over and over again. I feel like God is continually whispering rebuild to me in so many areas of my life. Rebuilding something almost seems daunting- it means taking something that already is and then making it new, which means work has already been done. The Dictionary lists several meanings. Some of the words used to describe rebuild are: repair, dismantle, reassemble, replace, restrengthen, reinforce, revise, reshape, reorganize.
I was studying in Nehemiah and the words “let us rise up and rebuild” in chapter 2, verse 18, stood out to me. (If you aren’t familiar with Nehemiah, he hears about the condition of Jerusalem and he is heartbroken. He finds out the walls are in rubble. He decides to go and rebuild the city wall and the gates. I would encourage you to read Nehemiah if you haven’t!) Nehemiah sets out on a journey to rebuild what is broken. He starts this quest with a heart that longs to see his heritage whole again and he completely trusts God with the journey and the outcome. He just goes as a willing vessel.
Nehemiah arrives to find discouraged people and lots of opposition. I think it would be so easy to just turn around and give up. The place is a mess. The people are a mess. But Nehemiah tells his plans and encourages the people. He relies on God the entire time, trusting Him. When opposition comes, he ignores it and keeps going. He finds a way to combat any negative circumstance.
I started thinking about this journey we are on as parents. Everyday I feel like I struggle to keep going. To keep fighting for the life I want for my kids. It is exhausting. Everyday there is something new saying “You can’t do this! This is just too hard!” The truth is there are pains, difficulties, obstacles, heartache, you name it, we do and will face it! If I want to raise kids who are strong in faith, trusting in God, who love others well, are confident in themselves and their ability, emotionally healthy, then I can’t quit. I can’t stop. No giving up.
There are so many things our kids are facing today that we didn’t face as children. With the internet, social media, bullying, and pressures to “keep up” with the world, we have our work cut out for us to raise kids who are set apart in this world. The more I learn about what our youth today are faced with daily, the more it almost feels like the mold has been made. I hear people say things like “this is just the way it is now” and I know that it is really easy to believe that lie but it is just not true! I do think it feels harder to do the work now to set boundaries that don’t look like everyone else’s, but I think in the long run, doing the hard work now is worth it!
After reading Nehemiah, here is what I learned and I want to remember daily in my journey:
- Rebuilding the wall didn’t happen in a day. They weren’t able to accomplish their task in a day and I can’t either. It takes persistence, consistency, and time to raise healthy kids.
- They faced difficulties. They were constantly facing opposition throughout rebuilding and when we are trying to raise kids who look different than the world, we will face it too- so will our kids. We will face trials on this journey.
- They were watchful and ready for the enemy. They worked with a weapon in one hand and a tool in the other. They were always watching for an attack and they were ready to defend, all while working at the task at hand. The devil is always ready to distract us so we have to be watchful and ready. When we are doing God’s work, the enemy will do what he can to keep us from it.
- The work is hard. It isn’t easy to be set apart from this world. We have to commit to do the hard work and keep going even when it isn’t easy.
- They were successful because they came together for God’s purpose. We need to remember that as husbands & wives, moms & dads, we have power to come together for HIS purpose. As a community we have the power to work together for HIS purpose. As a church we have the power to come together for HIS purpose. For our families, our legacy.
- They worked enthusiastically. They found a way to be joyful and work with enthusiasm even though the work wasn’t easy and they constantly faced resistance. When we keep our goal in mind, we can find joy in the hard things!
- They knew they were fighting for their families. When we remember what is at stake- our kids, our grandkids, our great grandkids……. We are fighting this fight for our families!
- They told the opposition to hush! They didn’t let distractions or temptations take them away from work. They declared God’s goodness and kept working! They were not about to let anything keep them from doing the work to rebuild.
Through studying Nehemiah, I feel so encouraged to rebuild a new mold for my kids, for my family. To crush the pressures this world gives and replace them with God’s promises. To commit to work together everyday with my husband to fight the enemy’s attacks and reinforce God’s goodness. To revise the way I look at things. Grasp the fact I have a chance to reshape my kids future. We can repair what is broken. We have to remember it isn’t going to be easy, but investing in this is worth it. Friends, we have the chance to say no to the lie that “this is just the way it is” and decide fight for something different!