Nehemiah is in the throes of his massive rebuilding project and finds out that, just like every rebuilding project, this one is painful. Those plundering Jerusalem are not happy about the project and are lobbing verbal insults. These aren’t schoolyard taunts, but deeply wounding words. The mockers deride Nehemiah and the people’s ethnicity, religion, and history (v. 2) and attempt to dishearten the people by scorning their progress (v. 3).
Nehemiah’s prayer (v. 4-5) gives the impression the verbal jabs hit hard. Once again we see Nehemiah cry out to God, this time with a cry for justice. Rebuilding is often painful. If you begin rebuilding a significant part of your life, assume there will be pain. This could be pain from getting fired, over losing someone, or of disappointing ourselves. Pain often occurs at the beginning of the process and throughout the process.
Nehemiah’s response to the pain is important. He feels the pain and does something with it. Some people become obsessed with the pain and bitterly dwell on it, while others move so quickly they claim to never feel the pain, burying it deep within. Nehemiah is wounded, but moves on by inviting God into the pain. This allows him to continue to move even with the pain.
While rebuilding, there’s sure to be pain. Today, spend some time journaling. Write about what is causing you pain. Ask yourself if you’re obsessed by the pain, if you moved too quickly through it trying to ignore it, or if you’re simply running away from it. As you journal, write down how you can give the pain to God and continue healthy rebuilding.