Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nehemiah 6:15-16: God's Grace

The Wall Is Finished
15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. (Nehemiah 6:15-16)

            This morning, I began reading the Book of Nehemiah.  Reflecting on the good work this layman did for the Jewish community, I could not believe all that he led his people to accomplish in 52 days.  When I think of the times and the lack of technology, erecting a wall around a huge city seems impossible, no matter how many dedicated helping hands were available. But it was through God's grace that they were able to accomplish the impossible.  Even the enemies “lost their confidence” in this awe-inspiring gift of God's grace.  These two verses jumped out at me today as a vivid reminder to be thankful for the many graces I receive each day from God.  For it is through His grace that I can accomplish from the simple to the seemingly impossible.   
            How many times have I looked at someone's talent and noticed their awe-inspiring ability?  Whether it is a talented musician who writes a simple song hook that resonates within me or a virtuoso who plays a flurry of almost inaudible notes, their ability and accomplishment take me aback.  Even though many accomplished musicians might not know or admit it, "the help of our God" is at work in them, for it is only through God's grace that we can accomplish the love and beauty in our world.  This awe-inspiring ability also happens at home when I see my wife juggle vacuuming and dusting a room, emptying the dishwasher, and folding a load of laundry while she holds our toddler and caters to our eight-year-old's cry for a snack.  Although I am quick to jump in and assist, she very often fronts this battle while I am at work.  But it is through "the help of our God" that she is graced with her talents as a mother.  

Let us always remember the graces we are given each day by a loving and compassionate God, even when we think they are of our own doing.