Have you ever had your heart broken? I can remember the first time having my heart broken by a boy. I cried. I didn’t eat…and my heart ached for days. It was the first time in my life that I understood what having a “broken heart” felt like.
Nothing my mother could say made it better. No shopping trip made it better. My favorite food didn’t make it better. My friends couldn’t make it better. It was a time when I just had to walk through the “brokenness” and feel the pain. Thankfully…I had a relationship with Christ. Even though I was young in my faith…I knew…that I knew…God, in time, could and would make things better…but it did take a while. Since that time my heart has been broken many more times…not over a boy…but over things–words, actions, etc. The same hurt. The same kind of pain. Nothing anyone could do to fix the “hurt”…or make it better quickly…….
I love what I learn from the book and life of Nehemiah about having a “broken heart”. His heart was broken over the fact that the wall was torn down and had been that way for some time. Relate it to your own life and ask yourself, “What is broken in my life that needs rebuilding?” NO matter what it is….we can learn from Nehemiah…a great plan we can implement to REBUILD OUR “broken wall”.
1. He wept. Yes, he cried. It is okay to cry and mourn over your “broken wall!” God gave us tears. Often times it helps us to release our pain. So cry…it is okay!
2. He fasted. In fact it tells us he fasted for some days. “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4). Note: fasting is giving up something for a period of time. A sacrifice on your part that reminds you to pray over different things. It is designed to focus your attention on God and hear His voice during this time.
3. He prayed! For some days he prayed. His prayer, found in Nehemiah 1:5-11, was precious. He praised God for who God is. He confessed his sins and prayed for the sins of others. He also asked for success in the area of his brokenness. He asked God to grant him favor with the king so that he might rebuild the “wall.”
>>Take away: if you have a “broken wall” in your life, it is God who can give you the direction, courage, wisdom and favor on just how to “rebuild” that wall.
It may seem unlikely. Your view could be “dim,” and often is, but if you are truly “broken” it is not a bad place to be if you believe and trust in Jesus. God can do anything! There are things we can do. Weeping, fasting and praying, we learn from Nehemiah’s example, brought God’s attention, provision, wisdom and favor. After all, we know God knows our heart. “And he [God] who searches our hearts…” (Romans 8:27).
When our heart is sincere and we put the actions behind the brokenness, we can TRUST God to Show up and Show out. We have to remember what we are instructed to do in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING…[this is key…it may not make human sense to us what God instructs us to do…we are to obey anyway]; in ALL your WAYS acknowledge HIM [God] and he will make your paths straight” (emphasis added).
As you continue to study Nehemiah rebuilding the broken wall you find it didn’t come without fear and opposition. Nehemiah 2:2-3, “…I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, ‘May the king live forever…Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?'” You see, Nehemiah was afraid yet showed courage. Courage means stepping even when you feel fearful.
Thus, to rebuild your broken wall, you may have to step even when you feel afraid. The result of Nehemiah’s courage? The king granted Nehemiah his requests. He sent letters to protect his travel. Letters that provided provision and an army for protection. Nehemiah never failed to give God the glory and credit. Nehemiah 2:8, “…and because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.”
NOTE: when rebuilding your wall be quick to recognize and give credit to the holy hand of God.
Opposition is always going to come when you are about God’s work, especially if you are seeking to rebuild a “broken wall” in your life. Realize…it is a spiritual battle…even though the opposition may come from humans. Nehemiah 2:18-19, “They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding the wall.’ So they began this good work. But when Sanballat the Hornonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. ‘What is this you are doing?’ they asked. ‘Are you rebelling against the king?'”
Your eyes, just like Nehemiah’s eyes, have to stay off of “man” and onto God. Very often, when our eyes are on man, we are unable to please God. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” (Matthew 6:24). We have to continually lean into God and tell ourselves, “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!” (see I John 4:4).
God loves to rebuild broken walls. He is in that business…the “restoration” business. He can make anything new.
So today…I encourage you to go read the whole story of Nehemiah. Relate it to your life. If you are broken…learn from Nehemiah’s example…and apply the steps he took. Pray as if it all depends on God but work (obey) as if it depends on you!
“So lift up your heart to the heavens; There’s a loving and kind Father there who offers release and comfort and peace in the silent communion of prayer.” ~Anonymous