Saturday, June 6, 2009

Walls

Some people are busy building them. Others dare to live beyond their boundaries. Without walls, we can be vulnerable to attack. With walls, our hearts, minds, and physical bodies are protected. Walls can be spiritual symbols or physical boundaries. My mother spent most of our childhood building walls around us. She was protecting us from the world. Looking back, I am thankful for those walls of protection. Praying over your kids is one way to build up a "spiritual" wall around their bodies and minds. Praying God's word over your children is another way to keep those walls firmly grounded. My mother did this well. Every morning of each day she spent time alone in her room praying for us; for our safety, for our future, for HER strength to teach us the truth.

Our sunday school class is about to start studying the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah knew the value of a wall. Particulary, he grieved over the fact that Jerusalems' walls were broken. Physically, they were subject to attack, mentally they were in fear and broken down, and there was no one organizing help for them. As an adult, I can look back at my life and see the importance of building those "spiritual walls" over our children. And if you want to build a spiritual wall, sometimes it starts by doing something physical. Like, physically changing the television channel to something more appropriate. Or, physically, reading your kids the Bible daily instead of just once a week at church. Robb and I have rules to protect our children for as long as we possibly can. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we have to adjust. But, we try. After studying the first chapter of Nehemiah, I learned a few things about his character, but one characteristic really spoke to my heart.

First, he cared about the lives of others. Nehemiah could not be called "indifferent."

INDIFFERENCE

–noun 1. lack of interest or concern:
2. unimportance; little or no concern:
3. the quality or condition of being indifferent.
4. mediocre quality; mediocrity.

Indifference is the absence of feeling. Maybe you have felt indifferent towards an individual or a situation. Indifference is an easy case to catch in today's day and time. We all are busy by default. Sometimes we seem indifferent just because our schedules do not allow us to stop. Other times, indifference, might be intentional. Indifference can pack a punch, but it can be overcome. Nehemiah wept and fasted when he heard his brother's words concerning Jerusalem.

"...The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire." Nehemiah 1:3

He could have just as easily turned his face and plopped down on his comfy palacial couch. After all, he was a man of importance. He was cultured, handsome, knowledgeable, and most importantly had access to the King. Not just anybody could be a cupbearer to the King. To personally go and help Jerusalem rebuild their walls meant that Nehemiah would be literally going from riches to rags. Indifference could have kept him from God's best. But, Nehemiah conquered indifference and instead "chose" to care. Sometimes caring for others comes naturally and other times it's a choice. But, the truth always sets us free and I know that God has called me to abandon indifference and choose to care (even when it's more comfortable to go about my way).

"They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed."
Psalm 34:5

Jess

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