The Silence before the Storm
“I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding” (Nehemiah 2.12 NLT).
Nehemiah does not tell any of the Israelites his plan to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. He seemingly comes as a spokesperson from King Cyrus, but no one knows about the support and resources that the king has bestowed upon Nehemiah to rebuild the city. Instead of coming into Jerusalem with pomp and haughty declarations of grandeur, Nehemiah remains silent and secretly scopes out the situation at night. Only a few men go with him to analyze the damage and neglect of Jerusalem, and Nehemiah takes no other supplies with him besides the animal in which he rides, as a safeguard from suspicious wonderings of others. The rebuilding of the wall will create a firestorm of attack and difficulty, and Nehemiah rightly takes time during the silence of the storm to ready himself for the mountain climb ahead of him. Many times when God gives of us a promise, the fruition of it becomes increasingly clear. Much like a chess game reaching the climax of a checkmate—every circumstance opens up like a stair-step into our destiny. But instead of jumping in face-first without a plan, we can prepare our hearts for the work and reward that form our promise. We’ll have our entire life to dwell in our Promise Land, but we will only have a moment to show God our gratitude and adoration by faith and to root our lives in peace before the waves of change hit us.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4.6-7 NLT).