The officials didn’t know where I had gone or what I was doing. I hadn’t yet told the Jews, the priests, the officials, the officers, or the rest who were to do the work. So I said to them, “You see the trouble that we’re in: Jerusalem is in ruins, and its gates are destroyed by fire! Come, let’s rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we won’t continue to be in disgrace.” I told them that my God had taken care of me, and also told them what the king had said to me. “Let’s start rebuilding!” they said, and they eagerly began the good work.
After Nehemiah examines the walls, he is ready to share his plans with the Jewish leaders. He knows the task ahead will feel daunting, and we see him inspire the leaders by presenting it as their mission, their joint project. Rebuilding isn’t about bricks and mortar, it’s about removing “disgrace”-- the condition of shame, fear, poverty, and insecurity-- among God’s people. He also uses his own story, and what God has done for him, to encourage them.
Is there a specific time in your life when God has really shown up for you? How can you use what God has done in your life to encourage others?