‘He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.’ Nehemiah 6.13
It certainly wasn’t plain sailing when Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem! As he called the people to work, he was constantly bombarded with threats by those who sought to stop him. This verse outlines one of the attempts made to halt his work – an attempt to intimidate him and make him afraid.
You may have experienced what it is to be afraid -perhaps about a specific situation, a particular person or just a general fear that something bad is going to happen to you. So what did Nehemiah do about his fear? It is interesting that he didn’t fight back, nor seek to cast out the fear, but he put it to one side and carried on with what he had been called to do.
There is a wonderful lesson in this. Fear can paralyse us and stop us taking a step into the future. Nehemiah didn’t deny what he was feeling, but he simply walked forward into the day ahead regardless. What is it that you fear today? Acknowledge this, but also acknowledge that you are called by God to be his co-worker. He needs you in the very situation that you fear. How would you act if your fears were not there? Take his hand and walk into the day ahead.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission