By Katie Rogers
Take a moment, close your eyes. Think about a moment that has impacted you so greatly, that left you broken, alone and as if your life was in shambles. Nehemiah 3 speaks of a time when Nehemiah’s homeland was in ruins, he was deeply impacted by this. The walls of his city were mere ruins. The city was unprotected from the enemy. Nehemiah faced heart ache. Nehemiah served under a king and the king recognized that he was sad. Nehemiah requested that the king allow him to go, to see the damage for himself and that he provide letters that would help him travel safely and gain the supplies necessary to rebuild the walls.
We all face hard times, moments where our lives are in shambles, the barriers that once protected us destroyed. Relationships altered, jobs lost, family members impacted by addiction. We face what Nehemiah faced. No one is exempt from the enemies’ schemes; no one is left untouched, unblemished. Life brings hard knocks.
Nehemiah’s king granted him time, the letters and prepared him to rebuild the wall and to keep the enemy away from the city.
We too need people in our lives that will provide for us, emotionally, physically and spiritually. People that will get in the trenches with us and fight for us, rebuild with us, encourage us not to give up.
Nehemiah assessed the damage, dealt with the enemy and had the supplies necessary to begin to rebuild. The task would not be easy and it required the help of many. He couldn’t do it alone.
Nehemiah didn’t just rely on a king or the multitudes. He relied on God first and foremost. He spent time in prayer, he followed God’s leading. He knew he couldn’t do it without the help of a merciful and yet mighty God.
Whether on the mountain top or in the valley piled with rubble, we need God. This life can’t be fulfilled and purposeful without him.
Yet God also uses people to rebuild, to refocus and to fight with us in every situation.
I’d like to take a moment and share a part of my story, a time when my walls were broken, my heart shattered and I felt as if I was never going to be safe from the enemy again. In 2007 I had finished ministry school and was burned out on the business side of salvation. I had lost my way. I had allowed the enemy to swerve my thinking, take me outside of all I’d known and dive head first into a relationship that should have been forbidden. I was sucked in to isolation, from God, my family and my friends. I had single handedly broke down my barrier to the enemy and allowed him to pillage my life and steal every good thing from me. No more love prayer with my prayer buddies, no more sage places to seek refuge. No more covering for when I was struggling or needed a hand to hold. You see prior to this I had so many in my life, who would pray, encourage and fight for me. But when you chose to isolate yourself your army often disappears and you are left all alone.
I mentioned earlier that Nehemiah had people to rebuild the walls with him. I also mentioned that the enemy was nipping at their heels attempting to make them doubt they could rebuild. So thanks to prayer and God’s wisdom they formed a plan. They would work as a team; half the people would build while the others would be on guard with weapons. No one was ever left alone, no builder without one ready to fight the enemy off. They worked around the clock. A Watchman at the walls 24 hours a day. Some who even slept with weapons prepared for whatever came their way. Thanks to this dynamic the wall was rebuilt in record time and the enemy was put in their place. This couldn’t have happened if Nehemiah wouldn’t have had help fighting and rebuilding.
Nehemiah also understood the troops would get tired. He had people take shifts. No one person was left to become weary. He valued his people enough to know that he needed an army. We need the same. We have to realize people will come and go, yet they all serve a purpose. God brings those who we need at just the exact times. Each person does something different, some pray, some fight, some bring you food when you are weary and the list goes on.
Our re-builders, whether in Nehemiah’s time or ours, need to see the vision, see God’s plan and help us carry it through. They see the vision when we can’t; when we lose sight.
We need the same in our lives. We need people who will go to war with us and for us. Without these people we will eventually crash and burn. We were created for relationship.
At the beginning I asked you to close your eyes and picture a time that had left you devastated. Now take a moment and close your eyes. Who showed up to pray with you, to comfort you, to help rebuild your walls?
I have a group of people who are the re-builders of my walls. Each one impacted me in a different way. Some rebuilt by praying, some by being on watch when I was ready to end it all, some encouraged, and some fed and clothed me.
Deanna-she was my friend and loved me when no one else did. She prayed, encouraged and loved when I didn’t believe I was worth it.
Marla- came out of nowhere and made me feel special. She checks in with me each day and includes me in various activities.
Linda- invested in me and co-taught bible study with me. She showed me a million different ways to teach, love and encourage.
Cheri- believed in me right after I realized my walls were crumbled. She gave me opportunities to use my gifts and trusted me with her Sunday school class.
Mayor- took interest in me and comforted me as I transitioned to a new job and city. She let me spend countless hours in her office when I had anxiety attacks. And she encouraged me as I took on new responsibilities.
Angie- she continued to allow me to teach bible study and trusted me to carry on with leading women in the church. She also walked with me while I faced anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
Glenda- she’s always been a Barnabas to me but in 2009 she saved me from the pit I was in, she forced me to face reality. And two weeks later I was back on track.
Leah- my wheat thin- the one who stayed after long shifts to talk to me, to encourage me, to live me even when I wasn’t worthy of her time.
Leah- my snowflake- the one who has always balanced me out. Who has encouraged, brought perspective and walked me through some deep valleys.
These are just a few of my re-builders, yet each one impacted my life greatly.
We all need re-builders and those who will war on our behalf just like Nehemiah. Our lives are incomplete with out relationships, without ones who will walk our journey with us.
Don’t decrease your value, don’t think you’re not worth others’ time. Your life is precious. Let the re-builders in.
My name is Katie Rogers. I currently live in Yakima. I serve others by working at DSHS and participating on the NW Women’s Team.
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