If you are familiar with the Old Testament story of Nehemiah, you know he was called on my God to oversee the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem. It was a daunting task, no doubt, but in Nehemiah’s example we see how to navigate our own new beginnings. In this post we’ll look at how the seed for that new beginning gets planted and begins to germinate.
In Nehemiah 1:4, he reacts to the news that the city lay defenseless with its wall in ruins. He says. “As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” In this short verse there are at least three things we can imitate or learn from.
He saw the tremendous need. This is the seed. Yes, he wept and he mourned, but it shows the depth of his connection to his homeland, a land that as far as we know, he had not physically visited before.
Often, the next move God has for us begins with a need we see, one that stirs our hearts and our passions. God plants the seed.
He took some time. He didn’t run with the first idea that popped in his head. He let his emotions run their course. He didn’t rush. He didn’t impose a deadline. He let things percolate and left room for God to speak.
God has a timetable and we need to work to adjust ourselves to His schedule. Remember, seeds don’t sprout overnight.
He fasted and prayed. I know we hear it so often that it becomes a cliché, but truly, we should not take on any new endeavors without seeking God first. Based on what happens later in the chapter, we can deduce that Nehemiah was weighing out what he, personally, could do. Perhaps he was confirming the call God was giving him. He may have even been struggling against it, but from what we see of him throughout the book, I don’t think that was the case.
We can’t force a seed to sprout, but God can. If He has planted it in you, He will make it grow.