Do you remember Nehemiah? He’s the wine-taster turned wall-builder in the Old Testament. He heard that the walls of Jerusalem were torn down and decided to not sit idly by but to get off his cushy palace job and do something about it.
Building a wall turned out to be a lot more than he bargained for. He and his fellow wall-builders were abused and even attacked. They had to work with one hand grasping their swords!
Soon, a group of people were scheming to harm Nehemiah and they told him to come down off the wall. He responded, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?“. (Nehemiah 6:3) They persisted and sent him 4 more requests to leave the wall. Nehemiah refused.
His enemies got even more crafty and were fake prophesying against him–and Nehemiah’s friends told him to run away and hide in the temple. Finally, Nehemiah says, “Should a man like me run away?…I will not go!” (Nehemiah 6:11)
My mom has been a pastor and teacher to children in our local church for over 25 years. She has sat in mini-chairs, done puppet shows, poured over curriculum and taught the 10 Commandments more than anyone can imagine. But she’s also planted seeds that have developed deep roots and flowering bushes. Ministry to children is the same as being a mom–you put in lots of time, lots of love but you don’t see results right away. Sometimes it takes generations for the seed to bloom.
Now my mom has taken Nehemiah’s cry as her own, “I am carrying on this great project and cannot go down…I will not go!” She’s 55 years old but still works as hard as she did when I was a student in her first Bible Club.
My sister-in-law is a missionary to Mexico. She has four children under 7 years old. Two of them were born in Mexico. She comes to the States about once a year. She misses birthday parties, Christmas get-togethers and Target. Her kids sleep under mosquito tents. Their church does battle with an actual witch doctor in their town.
But she does not come down. She knows the good work she is doing. And she will not go!
Ahhh, but they are missionaries! Pastors! I’m just a mom. A teacher. A desk jockey. A student. I don’t have a Great Project.
It might seem little to stay at home and wipe noses all day. It might seem insignificant to go to the same job week after week. It might feel trivial to do the same paperwork day in and day out.
God sees your whole life as His Great Project! He wants you to stay up on that wall and not go down! He wants you to see your job, your life, your family as a place to do His good works, to lead others to Him and to shine the light He’s placed inside of you.
After all, isn’t that what Jesus did for us?
He was on the cross for hours.
He was beaten, bloodied and bruised.
But He did not go down.
He was mocked and betrayed.
He had a legion of angels at his beck and call.
But his Great Project was YOU.
And He did not go down.