Indifference is heartbreaking. Whether it is a guy who is trying to help his uninterested friend overcome temptation and self-destruction, or a mom attempting to instruct the hardened heart of her daughter, or a youth pastor pleading with the cold, indifferent scorner who ignores the truth of God and runs head long into tragedy, indifference always ends in heartbreak. When we come into Nehemiah 1, we find this gut-wrenching heartache in Nehemiah.
In verses 1-3, Nehemiah gets news from his friends that the Jews who returned to rebuild Jerusalem have done nothing. The city wall is in shambles, the building of the temple has halted, and God’s people sit idly by while invaders pillage their every effort. The indifference of the people who received God’s blessing disheartens Nehemiah.
So what does Nehemiah do in that moment of shear frustration? How does he fix the problem? What will he personally do in this moment to solve this quandary? Nothing.
Rather, according to Nehemiah 1:4-11, Nehemiah pulls himself out of the equation for a moment. It can be said that too often we view ourselves as far too significant. We see ourselves as the ultimate solution, and if we ever ask God what we should do, it is often simply to vindicate what we already decided to do.
In wisdom, with a broken heart, Nehemiah looked to the place that we must turn in the midst of our frustration – God.
The goodness and love of our God assured Nehemiah that God would hear and answer his prayer. He knew that he could trust the God of heaven at His promises. Nearly 1,000 years earlier, God had told Moses that if His people would repent of their sin, and turn in obedience to Him, He would bless them. Now, with tears running down his beard, Nehemiah pleaded for the grace of the God in heaven to intervene once more. It would not be good enough for Nehemiah to face his frustrations on his own. He needed God to face them for him. Nehemiah was trapped as a cupbearer to the king and could not leave his post to return, God would have to step in and motivate the hearts of His people.
The story doesn’t end here. As a matter of fact, the story continues and God moves in a way that Nehemiah could never have seen. Nehemiah, brokenhearted, leaning only on the power of the God in heaven to intervene in the lives of His unmotivated children, will ultimately see the hand of God in his own life.
Food for Thought: We know that God is all-powerful, why then do you think we fail to ask God for His help in times of frustration?