This morning, I saw a really short but meaningful verse in Nehemiah. It's all about joy & restoration.
Nehemiah 12:43 (b) (ESV)
...And the joy of Jerusalem
was heard far away.
Okay, let me give you a little bit of context & background here. The exiled children of Israel have been allowed to return from Babylon back to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple & their city. Nehemiah has led the charge to rebuild the wall of the city and it's finally complete. Choirs have been positioned at every corner of the wall and they are praising and rejoicing that God has delivered, rebuilt, and restored their home & their people.
As I read this verse, I got a visual of many Israelites singing and truly being joyful that they had finally made it home and were free to worship their God! They worshiped and praised the God who delivered them - who restored them.
This verse inspired me to truly praise God and be joyful for the restoration He's provided for me as well. I think far too often we pray for God to heal us, to rebuild our brokenness, to restore our homes and then when He does - we just go about our day, as if all that were a normal every day occurrence!
The children of Israel took massive amounts of time and energy to be joyful for their restoration. Check out Nehemiah and you'll see the detail that was put into praising God for the deliverance He provided them.
This morning, I let my Lord know that not only am I grateful and joyful for the rebuilding and restoring He has provided - but that I want it to be "heard far away!" Not for my sake... but so others can see what a great, loving, compassionate God I serve.
Also, do I share, in small & big ways, that once I was lost and now I'm found? When those around me share with me how they are hurting do I give them the living water that will truly heal them? Or do I just tell them I'll pray for them and go about my busy day? I want my joy to be heard so it can lead to life!
Have you been restored or rebuilt lately?
If so, then let your joy be heard!
If you're still waiting on restoration - let the story of the Israelites give you hope! Not only had their home been destroyed, but they were taken as captives to a whole other country - for years!!! And God still brought them home, rebuilt their place of worship, reinforced their city walls and renewed their joy! He can and wants to do the same for you!