Well sometimes life has a curve that you are completely unaware of that takes you to a place you hadn't intended to go. On Wednesday 27th, as we woke up to a steady drizzle outside the window, we would have never dreamed we would be flying to the states that night. In short, we found that when our visas expired on Thursday the 28th we couldn't just extend them.. we needed to leave East Africa. We had been under a false impression after a trip to the Embassy we made last year concerning this. So we got online and found that tickets to the States weren't too much more than tickets to Ethiopia, so we booked them. And here we are. We kept looking at each other and reminding ourselves that this was no surprise to the Lord. He knew, and He knows. So we will rest in that. I was reading in Psalms yesterday and came upon this verse-- Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye." We are in good hands :)
I have been reading through Nehemiah. One day I was sitting down where we serve lunch on Saturdays. From my perch I had a great view of Kibera. I could see people walking along the railway line headed off for another day. I could see shop owners opening windows and wooden doors. Mama's sitting our their goods. I could see children running through the streets leaping over ditches. Then my eyes fell back to the pages in front of me. The pages that contain Life. Those pages that mean more to me as the days go by. As I read through Nehemiah I saw the parallel. It quite nearly jumped off the pages. The walls of Jerusalem were broken down, they were vulnerable to attack.. their enemies had a clear view, unhindered access. And it grieved Nehemiah.. he wept, he prayed, he fasted. Then God moved Him to action. I read quickly eager to devour the words.. the parallel burning in my mind. I read how Nehemiah called them to rise and build. I read of all the households committed to the fortification of this city. Me eyes came to chapter 4 verse 17 and I had to stop and take it in. Read it a couple more times.. With ONE hand they worked at construction, and with the OTHER they held a weapon. I looked up and again watched the people walking, fetching, running, living another day they had been given. I wondered within myself.. how many walls are broken down? How many of these souls are living day to day unfortified... giving the enemy unhindered access. God wants to rebuild. He is in that business. Am I willing to be used? Am I willing to pray, fast, and weep? Does He have my life to use in the fortification? Does He have my knees.. bent to the floor.. where the work is the most taxing but the most victory won? Do I have two hands given... one for building one for defending?! And then as my eyes continues there journey across the pages they came to chapter 6 verse 16 and it says when the wall was completed.. When all their enemies heard of it, and all the nations around saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; FOR THEY PERCIEVED THAT THIS WORK WAS DONE BY OUR GOD. Oh hallelujah!! All praise be to the Master Builder!!
He is looking for men, women, households who are willing to be used in His global construction project. All around us there are walls in need of repair and restoration. On our own we can try to slap up some bricks, cover the holes the best we can.. but they will never stand. It is only when we come under the direction and supervision of our Lord that change can be affected. He wants to make us strong and repair the breaches and gaps in our walls so that we can then be poured out on behalf of those around us. It is a glorious invitation to serve under the Great Master Builder. He knows very acutely what it means to stand in the gap for someone... what it takes to repair a breach that has been made... to put up walls of fortification. His body filled a gap for us, His blood poured out, His life breath expired, He was crushed so that the enemy could no longer have unhindered access.
"Then I (Nehemiah) said to them, "You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach (desolate)." Nehemiah 2:17