"When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days, I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven." - Nehemiah 1:4
During the pandemic, listening to the news was a daunting task. It was a barrage of bad news! After a while, I stopped watching the news as it did nothing for my sanity! When I spoke to colleagues, friends or family, there seemed to be not much good happening in the world!
What do you do when it all looks gloomy? It's easy to retreat and let our feelings get in the way of living a whole life.
According to the scripture above, Nehemiah sat down and wept for several days because of what he'd heard. I don't know about you, but I've been here several times. I'm sure you have, too! Let's not sugarcoat this - It looks grim out there.
2 Timothy 3:1 warns us to expect such times as Jesus' coming draws near - 'But understand this, that in the last days, difficult times will come.'
Jesus also warns us in Matthew 24 of the signs to come as His return approaches. It's easy to whinge, moan or lament at everything negative around us. Whilst there's nothing wrong with this natural response, we can see that Nehemiah did something extra to tip the scales over. At his lowest point, he remembered he had a God he could turn to, one who had built a nation (Israel) out of one man (Abraham) and delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians. He took his burden to this same God in prayer accompanied with fasting.
I've come to see that when we take our problems to God, our perspectives change. A problem taken to God becomes an opportunity for Him to work it all together for our good, as we are all called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). God used Nehemiah and his burden to rebuild and restore a nation. What an excellent example of God's power!
What's your burden today?
God can use it to rebuild and restore your life, the lives of those around you, and, I dare say, even your nation. You can take all those burdens to Him in fasting and prayer this season.
Remember, if it's important to you, it's important to God.