Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.—Nehemiah 5:19 KJV
After the people of Judah lived for decades in exile, Nehemiah spent many busy years helping his people regroup. As governor of Judah, he helped rebuild Jerusalem’s walls, torn down by the Babylonians. That incredible feat required every mental, physical, and spiritual resource Nehemiah could muster.
Nehemiah planned all the necessary stages of the work and figured out the finances with the Persian king, Artaxerxes. Although an aristocrat, Nehemiah labored alongside his people, doing the “heavy lifting.” When enemies threatened to disrupt the work, Nehemiah turned “general,” directing workers in military strategies. After the wall was completed, Nehemiah took responsibility for the people’s spiritual welfare—contributions they did not always appreciate. He settled squabbles and even roughed up men who had foolishly married foreign wives. Exhausted after more than a decade of intense service, Nehemiah asked God to remember everything he had done.
Nehemiah possessed excellent leadership abilities—but his faith in God proved to be the factor that pulled him through. When Nehemiah couldn’t take it anymore, he ran to God.
Sometimes the sacrificial roles God asks us to assume last for days, months, even years. When no one seems to appreciate us, we, like Nehemiah, will find the support and affirmation we need in our heavenly Father.