On the past couple of Thoughtful Thursdays, I shared some thoughts from an audio book that I listened to while traveling to work. My husband got it from the library, and it was an encouragement to me day after day as I listened.
The book is called Running with the Giants: What Old Testament Heroes Want You to Know about Life and Leadership from John C. Maxwell. (affiliate link) I’ve shared a few thoughts from Moses’s life and from Abraham’s Life, and now I get to share from Nehemiah’s life.
What can we learn from Nehemiah? The main thought from the chapter was:
No problem is too big when you have help!
John Maxwell points out to us how Nehemiah received help when he was the most discouraged about what had happened to his beloved city. He asked help from God, from the king, from the people.
What a wonderful order of receiving help! Many times, I try to do things in my own strength and rush ahead without praying. I need help from God first! Then I need to go to the people who are in control of the situation or the ones who can actually do something to help me. And finally, godly friends who come help shoulder the burden and throw their life and effort into our work are invaluable. In all of our life changes to a new ministry, we had to leave wonderful friends behind us at our past ministry. Last week, we were able to go have dinner with one of those friends. Just their feeding us and giving us a time of fellowship brought tears to my eyes. Friends who come along to help and encourage are wonderful!
Nehemiah gives us some pointers about when we should ask for help:
- We should ask others for help when the problem is too big for us to face by ourselves.
- We should ask others for help when the problem is personal.
- We should ask others for help when we have shared the problem with God.
- We should ask others for help when we are willing to do our part.
- We should ask others for help when we sense God’s approval for the vision.
- We should ask others for help when people oppose us.
When others oppose us, it’s not time to give up. It’s time to get help.
At the end of the chapter, John Maxwell shares some words of encouragement from Nehemiah:
- It isn’t easy to ask for help., but don’t let insecurity or ego or fear make you try to go it alone.
- Not everyone will help. Some will refuse to help, but you need to keep moving forward. Don’t wait on them.
- Many times you don’t need a miracle, you just need each other.
You can run this race well, you just can’t run it alone!
I know how true this is in my own life. My parents, sisters, and a few friends have given us counsel, prayed with us, brought us food, and encouraged us. We need to as parents encourage our children to make godly friends who will be a positive influence on their lives. Ones who encourage them to love the Lord. They can’t do it alone either. Put a hedge of protection about them by steering them to friends who will run the race with them!
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