Be The Solution

Nehemiah 2:4-5, “Then the king said to me, ‘What would you request?’ So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, ‘If your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.’ ”

I wonder how and when Nehemiah first had the thought. Was it way back at the beginning when his brother first gave him the news about Jerusalem? It’s quite possible. We know that he was broken over the condition of the people. The Bible tells us that upon hearing the news he sat down and wept. Maybe it was something that developed over a longer period of time. Did it come to him at some point during the four months of fasting and praying that followed his brother’s news? It could have grown within his heart as he interceded for the city and her people. Or was it much more spontaneous? Was Nehemiah thinking it for the very first time even as he listened to the words coming out of his own mouth? We can’t really know for certain but we do know that at some point Nehemiah made a choice regarding the role he would play in this situaion.

Look at the text. Notice what Nehemiah tells the king. “…send ME…that I may rebuild it.” This isn’t a passing moment of sympathy that he is feeling. He isn’t dropping a few dollars in the offering so he can ease his conscience. This is much more than simply volunteering an hour on a Saturday morning. Nehemiah takes the ultimate step of faith. Confronted by the broken condition of the people, prepared by four months of prayer, and faced with the opportunity of a lifetime Nehemiah hurls himself without reservation upon the altar of sacrifice. “God, here am I. Send me. Use me.” Nehemiah sees the problem and offers himself as the solution.

I find myself in awe of such audacity. Who is he to think that he could even do this? We have no indication that he had ever met any of these people. There is no reason for us to believe that they would receive him much less allow him to lead them. After all, look at his resume. Cupbearer to the king? His prior experience consisted of wine tasting. He probably couldn’t tell you the difference between a plumb line and a level. And this guy thinks he’s going to rebuild a wall that had been broken down now for over 100 years? Not exactly the guy that I would have picked to lead this endeavour.

But isn’t that just like our God? He delights in choosing the unlikely to do the impossible. That thought should give each of us tremendous hope. I don’t know about you but as I look over the resume of my life I wonder why God would ever choose someone like me. But He has. He has chosen me to be His hands, His voice, His heart to a broken world. He has chosen me to be a dwelling place for His Spirit. He has chosen me to carry His words of life. He has chosen me to be a part of the solution. In fact, He has chosen every single one of us. The only question that remains now is our response. Will we refuse or will we follow the example of Nehemiah? We all find ourselves surrounded by broken, lost people. The difference is that Nehemiah offered himself to God as an answer to their need. He placed himself in the hands of God knowing that all it takes is one man willing to make himself available. Stop making excuses. Stop sitting on the sidelines. It’s not too late. And it doesn’t matter what has gone before. What matters now is your willingness to be used by Him. You might very well be the answer to someone’s prayers. Start being the solution.