Friday, December 7, 2012

Article: Building a New Foundation of Love

By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach

In Nehemiah 2:17 we read about a city that has been shattered: “Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.” The walls that once protected God’s people had been destroyed, and all that was left were brokenhearted people and one broken man of faith who saw the ruins of Jerusalem and cried out to God. I can imagine Nehemiah questioning why God did not stop this destruction from happening. Surely if God cared, He would have protected His own holy city. Today, many of us hold the ruins of our own lives, broken by the destructive behavior and neglect of others, and we ask God the same question. We are just like Nehemiah, living in a land of hopelessness when it comes to love and marriage.

We see the moral decay and devastation of shattered lives and the ruins of families from relational wreckage. There are many reasons we are in this mess, and we could continue to blame one another—but what good would it do? The truth is, none of us ventured into marriage to see it end in misery or divorce. It would be wise for us to look at our own wreckage the same way that Nehemiah did his. What I mean is, let’s do something about it. We need a Nehemiah revival today if anything is ever going to change.

Nehemiah could have given up on God and his people and finished out the rest of his life depressed, bitter, and hopeless. Instead, he chose to fight the temptation to quit, to speak life into a dead situation, and to start building. Nehemiah took a step of faith and refreshed the people with a new perspective on the devastation around them.

Nehemiah did not deny that there was a problem; he didn’t ignore the fact that God’s people were discouraged and depressed. He himself was broken by what he saw. However, he took his brokenness and did something about it. He spoke words of life, and he inspired the people to take the broken stones from the wall and lay them down one at a time to build a new and stronger wall.

With God, brokenness does not have to be the end. Pain can become the very thing that brings us into a closer relationship with God and transforms us from the inside out.

Nehemiah’s broken heart compelled him to faith and action. He knew that what he was asking appeared to be impossible, yet he dared to believe God. His heavenly Father was then pleased to bless him with great favor. God used Nehemiah’s compassion to rebuild what was broken as He gave Nehemiah the strength needed to help his people live for a greater purpose than their own personal loss. He showed them how to begin rebuilding a foundation with a thankful heart and renewed faith.

We have all been hurt, and our hearts need healing at some level. We each hold a stone that represents our reaction to those who have broken our hearts, and we all have a choice with what we will do with the stone we’re holding. We can throw it, or we can use it to rebuild what is broken.

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Have a day of blessings!

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