Very rarely does success come easily. It usually only appears after there has been a significant struggle. Walt Disney was once considered a failure. In 1919, he was fired from his job at the Kansas City Star newspaper because he ‘lacked imagination and had no good ideas’. His next business wound up heavily in debt, and he filed for bankruptcy before moving to Hollywood, California and eventual success. He’s just one of many men and woman who’ve found success only after struggle and failure. But, what of the many hundreds who should have had their name in lights as great achievers, yet are unknown to us because they were unwilling to pay the price?
What ‘price’ is that? The value of anything is determined by the price you’re willing to pay for it. If it’s of little value to you then you’ll be much more willing to forsake it when difficulties present themselves. Conversely, the greater value you place on something the more likely you are not to jeopardise it because you remember what it cost you.
What’s holding you back today from following God’s calling; following the leading of your heart? Is it fear of failure? The criticism of others? The opinions of those you think are cleverer than you? In fact, you should be concerned with the exact opposite; regretting that you didn’t try. Wouldn’t it be better to look back on your life and realise you finished your course knowing you gave it your all, rather than finish full of unrealised hopes and dreams?
Nehemiah, the builder of the walls of Jerusalem, faced a seemingly impossible task. He encountered scorn and ridicule, and then outright attack from the enemy. Yet, here he is in our verse today saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.” Whenever we’re tempted to follow the will, voices and opinions of people rather than the will of God, then we’re choosing to ‘come down’, and find ourselves undervaluing what God’s called us to do.
I don’t know what God’s called you to do. But, if He’s called you to do it, then ignore the voices of others. Stay on the wall. Keep building just one brick at a time. Keep doing just what God’s called you to do, a day at a time. Follow that God-given dream, no matter how ridiculous or impossible it may seem. Keep listening to God’s still, small voice among the louder voices of the sceptics and doubters. God will reward you for every step of faith you take, every brick you lay because you know you’re ‘doing a great work’, and that is what you know you’re called to do.
Prayer: Dear Lord, You know the situation I’m in, and how difficult I’m finding it to keep going. Yet I know that You’ve called me to do it. At times, I feel inadequate, but I know in the depth of my being that, in those weak times, You’re my strength and my salvation. Help me to stay on the wall and keep going, and not be dissuaded by the voices of others telling me to quit. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
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