I love the book of Nehemiah. In the last year or so, God had me really camp out in this book – studying it and then teaching it – yet I still don’t think I will ever plumb the entire depths of this book. Each time I read it though, I’m struck by the scope of the project and the short amount of time it took Nehemiah to accomplish the work.
In chapter 3, the building of the wall begins at the Sheep Gate and circles all the way around Jerusalem to end back up at the Sheep Gate. And then at the end of chapter 6, we see that it took them all of 52 days to complete the work.
52 days!?! Even with all the work to be done? Even with all the opposition they faced?
Yep. 52 days.
God started them out at one place, and brought them all the way around full circle back to the starting point, and they were finished. Just goes to show you what God can accomplish on His timetable.
I have friends who needed to sell their home and got an offer within days of the house going on the market. I’ve heard stories of people who had no plans to add to their family until faced with children who needed a home and then they had all the necessary paperwork fly through in a matter of days or weeks, rather than the months it normally takes. I know people who met and married the love of their life within just weeks and have remained married for years.
And then there are other stories…of people who have waited and waited and waited for a dream to come true. I have been waiting for God to reveal my next ministry position for six months. When you are waiting…and have been waiting for a while…it’s hard not to despair that God is even listening anymore.
I wish I could give you all a reason why it happens that way. But only God knows that. The thing I do know is that God’s timing is perfect. He is always working, whether we can see the work or not, and His timing is perfect. Furthermore, just as Nehemiah found, even our opposition will lose their confidence when God’s work becomes apparent…regardless of how long it takes.
So whether it is 52 days, or weeks, or yes, even years, we can count on the fact that God is working. And that should bring us some comfort while we are waiting.
Now if I could just find where I left that patience…