Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 2, Day 3

The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?” (Nehemiah 2:4, NLT)

WP Neh Devo time passing

Six months. One hundred eighty days, give or take a few, Nehemiah opened his eyes and wondered if today would be the day.

He trusted God each to be laying the ground work. And each day he prayed to be ready.

And the time had arrived.

Nehemiah opened his mouth and shared his heart with the king and queen. He laid it out. He said needed. He had prayed for favor and kindness.

And that’s exactly what he got.

I can’t begin to what had been going on in the heart and mind of the king. Was he just having a day of benevolence? In the six months that Nehemiah waited had something happened to endear Nehemiah to the king making the favor expressed as natural as the sun coming up in the morning?

I don’t know. I am just convinced that Nehemiah was seeing God’s greatness unfold before his eyes. If God could do that then there’s nothing he can’t be trusted with.

Nehemiah knew that. Do we?

WP Neh Dev 2-3 Prov 3 5-6

Pick A Box

WP box

Do you have God in a box?

It’s an odd question…an old question.

Usually, we say we believe the Creator of the Universe is too big to be limited. We use theological words like omnipresent, omniscient, omni-something-or-other.

But we don’t live what we believe.

Sometimes we act like our problem is too big for God to handle…or too small for him to care. Or at times, we’d rather do things our way, because he’s too slow. Funny…he never seems to be in half the the hurry I am.

We hold back from letting him help because we don’t want him to “mess things up”. All that means is we only want our way, but don’t look at the mess we’ve made.

We take him out when it’s convenient, when it makes us look good, when no one will be offended.

What if God put us in little boxes and only took us out when it was convenient?

Here’s a couple verses that can help us with this box problem:

Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.
In ALL your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

If we will do this…he will do that.

So either we climb into that God box with our ALL,  or we let him out so he has freedom to fill and lead us wherever we are.

PRAYER: God, sorry about the box thing. This world we live in is so conveniently compartmentalized. It’s how we try to maintain control. Help us to do that hard work of trusting you with our ALL so you can lead us into your best. Amen.

WP God box

Wait!!!!

How do you do at waiting?

Me, not so good. I like my instant cocoa and pudding. I count on my microwave. The other night my husband was in a foul mood because he waited over twenty minutes in the drive-thru at Taco Bell.

Over the years, Advent has become a good exercise in self-control; a reminder that I really don’t live in an instant world.

Have you noticed the two separate lines of thinking and behavior as it deals with this season? On the one hand, people complain mightily about how Christmas is creeping further into the year as retailers begin setting up displays as early as September—but then they whine about having to wait for the day to arrive…and be over.

I remember one Christmas our church was going to observe a “strict” Advent. That didn’t go over well. The big beef was having to wait to sing Christmas hymns and songs.

So this Advent, I’m going to purposely focus on waiting. Each day will highlight an applicable scripture passage and a prayer for a specific group who are “waiting.”

I hope you join me and find a blessing as mark the days of this holy season.

Dec 1
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Pro. 3:5-6, ESV)

The biggest deterrent to waiting is the ability to trust. At the beginning of this Advent let’s determine to grow in our trust of God. He has the big picture in view and our best interests in mind. Test him, he truly is worthy of your trust.

Prayer: God of time who is beyond time and over time, walk with us in this Advent season and teach how to trust…and to wait. Be especially near to those who are waiting for someone they love to come home. Amen.