17th June 2020
“Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night. Then Judah said, "The strength of the labourers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”’
Nehemiah 4:9-10 (NKJV)
“So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days.”
Nehemiah 6:15 (NKJV)
Today my brothers and I got to work sorting out my Dad’s shed (a large shed), as he is currently in a home and will not be using the shed any more.
Over the years Dad has been a mechanic, a welder/boilermaker, blacksmith, and quite a clever inventor and maker of his own tools and other things - very skilled at what he does.
In the process he has helped so many by making things for them, or fixing stuff for them, and has been a great blessing to many people and the church family as a whole.
However, when it came to acquiring materials to make the things he made, Dad’s motto was - ‘I may be able to use that one day’, meaning he never threw much stuff out.
So today was a day of reckoning - what stays and what goes? What is now useful and what needs to go out? So some stuff went out - it’s purpose is now over.
In life it is very easy to accumulate ‘stuff’ which, if we hang on to it for too long, can clutter up our lives and make the way forward difficult.
When Nehemiah wanted to complete building the walls of Jerusalem, Judah (which means praise!) wasn’t doing much praising but was bogged down complaining about the rubbish that had accumulated by the walls. So Nehemiah set about refocusing God’s people on the task of building and clearing away the rubbish.
When we allow ‘rubbish’ to clutter up our lives we tend to stop praising and purpose gets put aside because the rubbish gets in the way.
Every now and then it is a good thing to pause and do a ‘stocktake’ of our lives and ask, ‘What is the excess baggage I am carrying?’ and ‘What rubbish have I allowed to accumulate around my feet?’ Then determine to have a clean out and refocus ready for the next part of the journey.
As Paul says in Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV) “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...”