By: Karen Polich
Last week Pastor Michael Cook looked at Nehemiah and his anguish. He was in mourning, fully in the “Kleenex phase”. Now, we watch Nehemiah moving into the “cup phase”. This is the defining moment. The grieving is over; he is leaving it behind. Read Nehemiah 2: 1–10. Listen to the Restore sermon series podcast here.
The idea of restoration suggests something is wrong. A significant loss has occurred. With it, we lose other things. We may lose our ability to trust others. We lose our next step, or we lose people.
What about in your life? What about my life? Are you and I moving forward towards restoration? If not, we risk getting stuck. We cannot rebuild anything when we can’t move forward. Nehemiah recognized this and made a courageous move in revealing his anguish to the king.
The concept of loss is deeply personal. How long should it take to be ready to move forward? Losing a loved one doesn’t invoke the same sense of loss as losing a job. Both are painful, but they are not the same. What a complex issue! Understand that in the complexity of this, there is no simple answer to how it will look when we experience loss and are ready for restoration. When we find ourselves at the extreme of either no grief, or stuck in grief, this should cause concern.
These four steps will help us as we move forward:
1. Embrace uncertainty. We can’t plan everything. If we aren’t willing to move forward despite the unknown, we will never move forward.
2. Acknowledge fear. It is difficult. We can acknowledge fear without allowing it to paralyze us. It is huge to advance and not regress in the fear. Your sadness and hurt will not rebuild anything.
3. Anticipate God’s favor. We often forget this lesson. Always anticipate God doing something amazing. Communicate this with your life, your heart and your actions. God has His majestic Hand on the situation.
4. Expect complications. We all have people like this in our lives (Nehemiah 2:10). Complications will try to derail everything you are doing.
Condensed into one word moving forward equates to: COURAGE.
Joshua 1:9, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Are you ready to take the beginning steps of restoration? Embrace courage and let God do something amazing.