They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, "Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed." [But I prayed,] "Now strengthen my hands."
Nehemiah faced a daunting task. His hometown Jerusalem lay in ruins and no one seemed to care. Years earlier the Babylonians had destroyed the beautiful city, and had taken the people captive. Now people were able to return. But the walls were still a pile of rubble and the exiles were in no hurry to rebuild them. Nehemiah heard about the deplorable conditions and obtained the King's permission to go to Jerusalem.
When he arrived, Nehemiah saw that the conditions were as bad as had been reported to him. But instead of throwing up his hands in discouragement, he raised them in prayer to God. "Now strengthen my hands," he asked.
Nehemiah's task seemed almost impossible. He encountered hard, physical labor to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. His workforce was composed of volunteers who had never built a wall before. In addition to that, he faced death threats made by enemies who did not want to see Jerusalem rebuilt. Yet he persevered through all these trials. He was faithful to complete the task God had given him. And God was faithful to strengthen Nehemiah's hands. The wall was finished and Jerusalem became a thriving city once again.
Most of us don't face near the problems that Nehemiah did. In fact, our problems pale in comparison to his. Yet we each have a job God has given us to do. We can either throw up our hands in despair, or we can pray, "Lord, strengthen my hands." Let's follow Nehemiah's example and rely on God. When we are faithful to God, He will be faithful to us.
Lord, no matter what problems and difficulties I face, remind me to always ask for Your strength to complete them.