Monday, September 29, 2014

Rebuilding



A few days ago, I read the book of Nehemiah about the Israelites’ huge task of rebuilding of the wall after their captivity in Babylon, and I thought about all the rebuilding God has done in Daniel’s life since last September when he almost died from encephalitis. 

Here are some of our pictures that parallel the two stories…

Nehemiah received the news with sorrow and grief: “The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire.” (Nehemiah 1:3)




Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem himself to look over the ruins and said to the people: “Come let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.” (2:17)


Sanballat, a voice of discouragement and opposition challenged: “Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?” (4:2)


But in spite of the opposition, the work continued on because the hand of God was with them: “So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.” (4:6)



 
The people still grew weary and said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.” (4:10)



Nehemiah encouraged the people not to give in to the opposition: “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” (4:14)


And when the work was finished and the people offered sacrifices to God, Nehemiah said to them: “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (8:10)


In thanksgiving, the Levites said: “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.” (9:5-6)




Nehemiah prayed: “Now, therefore, O our God, the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes.” (9:32)


In all that has happened you have been just.” (9:33)



And from the book of Ezra: “He has granted us new life to repair the house of God and its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.” (Ezra 9:9)



Daniel has been climbing up on the bed with me the past couple of weeks when I’ve played the guitar. He likes to lay on his back and listen, and he is very eager to flip the page of the song book for me when he thinks a song is finished. One song he particularly likes and tries to sing along with me is “Lamb of God” by Twila Paris. These lines have struck me in a new way as I have sung along with Daniel and thought about his life—the precious life that God brought back from death a year ago and has been rebuilding this past year…

I was so lost, I should have died
But you have brought me to your side
To be led by your staff and rod
And to be called a lamb of God

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