January 21, 2014

Are We Done Yet?

Nehemiah 6:15-19

The wall was completed … in fifty-two days.
—Nehemiah 6:15


It’s a great feeling to finish a long and difficult project.

Imagine how it felt for Nehemiah and the Jews to have com-pleted their building project. They had worked under threats of attack and delays, under a cloud of tension day and night. Finally, after fifty-two days of nearly constant work, the wall of Jerusalem was finished. Time to celebrate? Not quite. Tensions with their enemies continued.

Nehemiah knew that opposition would not stop just because the work was finished. When the final touches around the doors and gates were complete, Israel’s enemies “were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of [Israel’s] God.” As a result, threats from their enemies kept coming. The people had to remember why they began the rebuilding in the first place—God had called them to be his people and to be a light for the other nations. Their enemies could not defeat God, but they would surely keep trying.

Has a dear friend wounded you with unkind words? Do your enemies constantly try to run you into the ground? God has called you and will always be with you. Even if people are not celebrating God’s work in your life, you have a Savior who is always for you, not against you. You can trust him.

Jesus, help me to see that you always keep working in my life. Help me to trust that I am always your servant and child. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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