In Case Of Emergency

Nehemiah 2:4, “Then the king said to me, ‘What would you request?’ So I prayed to the God of heaven.”

Nehemiah’s heart was racing. Talk about a flood of emotions. In a matter of moments he had run the full gauntlet of human experience. Sadness. Fear. Confusion. Uncertainty. All four had just marched across the courtyard of his heart. Nehemiah had entered the throne room with the same sadness that had plagued his heart for months. The four months of fasting and praying had done nothing to alleviate his burden for the people of Jerusalem. In fact, it had only made matters worse. All he could think about was the condition of the city and her people struggling to survive. Sadness of heart? Nehemiah was a broken man. What he felt was something much closer to grief and despair. It had slowly grown over time until it had become a very part of his being. He wondered how he had been able to hide it from the king for so long a period of time.

Sadness gave way to great fear as the king noticed his condition. Nehemiah knew the law. It didn’t matter what was going on in his own life, when Nehemiah came before the king he was supposed to put on a smile. No frowning faces or heavy hearts before the throne. Control your countenance or lose your head. Those were the only two options available to the king’s servants. But Nehemiah hadn’t been able to keep it in any longer. And the king had noticed. In Nehemiah’s mind it was only a matter of time. He had done his best to explain what was happening. But rules were rules. As far as he could tell this burden was going to cost him his life.

Taking a deep breath, he tried desperately to calm himself. It was pointless. He was shaking. He was sweating. His entire world felt like it was spinning out of control. And the awkward silence that now hung over the entire throne room seemed to last an eternity. The seconds slowed down and time itself halted in the aftermath of the king’s question. Nehemiah knew he had to answer. Quickly.

In a case like this there is really only one thing you can do. How do I know? Because I’ve done it myself. We all have. When you find yourself in an emergency situation you sound the alarm. That’s what Nehemiah did. Consumed by grief. Overwhelmed with fear. Faced with an uncertain future (remember…Nehemiah’s life depends on his answer). Nehemiah prays. He cried out to the only One who could help. He turned to God in his time of tremendous need. He sought safety and deliverance at the hands of the Lord of all creation. Nehemiah prayed and God responded. His life was spared. The king granted his request. The direction of his life was forever changed. The destiny of an entire nation was impacted. All because of a prayer that could not have lasted more than a few seconds.

How about you, my friend? Where are you today? Grief. Sadness. Worry. Fear. Unanswered questions. An uncertain future. All of us face these emergency situations. Let me encourage you today to sound the alarm. Don’t quit. Not yet. I know it can seem pointless. I know you might feel foolish. But God is only a prayer away. A few seconds can change everything. Break the glass. Pull the lever. Push the button. Sound the alarm! Help is on the way.