When The Rubbish Becomes The Struggle
Posted on December 11, 2018 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“Then Judah said, ‘The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.’ And our adversaries said, ‘They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.’ — Nehemiah 4:10-11 (NKJV)
In the days of my youth I would listen to many Heavy Metal music anthems. I remember that they would really get my blood pumping as I would shake my fist in the air at “THE MAN”, who was holding me back. There was a band called “Suicidal Tendencies” that put out a song titled “You Can’t Bring Me Down” that always got me going and made me feel that I was really showing “THE MAN” that he had no place in my world.
However, as the years have gone by, I’ve never really found out who “THE MAN” was that held me back (unless I look at myself) and I’ve chosen different ways to handle my everyday struggles. But I gotta admit that when those everyday struggles seem to be overwhelming, I can hear a jingle or two echo from my past. But then there’s the Word of God…
When I shift my existence in that direction, I am guided to what Nehemiah was up to. A whole rebuild was taking place as people began to clean up what war did to Jerusalem. Now if you know the history, you’ll remember that King Nebuchadnezzar pretty much trashed Jerusalem as Babylon went in to lay seize on the city. Nothing was really left standing. Buildings were in ruins; the gates were gone and the walls surrounding Jerusalem were just a pile of rumble over the place. Years later, a cup-bearer named Nehemiah was sent by the king he was serving to rebuild what was destroyed. This is great stuff…until the work began.
As the tribe of Judah started its share of the clean-up, they just looked around and went, “We’re too weak and feeble with way too much rubbish to clean up. This job is too big for us.” And if that wasn’t an issue there were people surrounding Judah saying “We don’t want you here. So, when your backs are turned, we’re doing you in.” Definitely not a good place to find yourself as a member of the tribe of Judah. They had a two-fold problem and they had forgotten something. They got busy by seeing their internal struggle first, then they looked around and pointed out their external issues and they had forgotten that they were selected by God to bring forth the Messiah.
Let me ask this question…can we compare this to the Christian life? Well, if we had come to a point where are lives are in ruins and a clean-up was necessary, I would say yes. If I were to take my own Christian walk as an example, I would find that many an enemy has done their damage to it and has left me discouraged. I’ve looked at the mess left behind and have thought, once or twice (well maybe a tad bit more) that this Christian stuff just ain’t for me. I’ve looked around, pointed to the world around me and concluded that they are out to get me anyway, so why bother?
But as I sit on my rubbish heap, with my boo-hoo-hoo’s, I’ve forgotten the very Jesus Christ that came to do His work through me…and I’ve became just as ineffective to the rebuild as the tribe of Judah did to Nehemiah. What a wretched man I can be, who can save me from this heap of rubbish I struggle with? Well the Apostle Paul says this, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:5-6).
Ya know, we never “arrive” while we’re on this side of glory. Just because we’ve become “spirit-filled” Christians doesn’t mean we’ll never have a problem with life’s on-going issues. We need to be attentive to the spiritual part of us so that we maintain our position at the foot of The Cross. Like my days of old where I found an anthem or two to make me keep my head up, we need to keep looking towards the Word of God and find where we see YHVH Nissi (The LORD is my Banner) being raised up. As a matter of fact, check out this encouragement from Paul, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14). Don’t let the rubbish be the struggle. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “I would go to the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.” — C.H. Spurgeon
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:25