Thursday, July 20th, 2017
After Senate Republicans met with President Trump yesterday to chart a new path forward on health care, the news headlines have been a mixture of blame-casting, consternation, and scolding. Whenever an enormous task is undertaken, there will always be naysayers, detractors, and challengers. Whether it was the Democrats in 2009 or the Republicans in 2017, neither party has had the leadership nor impartiality to third party bias to create a system that can work for the long-term. Such a reality has translated into many Americans either throwing their hands up in frustration, or retreating to their political ideology. With affordable health care being of vital importance to all of us, we do not have the luxury of giving up or sulking. As always, the Bible gives us hope and a roadmap to navigate our challenges and the book of Nehemiah is a case study in leadership. The book is written by Nehemiah himself, and details his God-given task of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem to protect the Israelites from its enemies. Naturally, there are many issues that arise before, during, and after completion of the project. One of the main issues during construction is that enemies of Israel continually attack the laborers to stop construction of the wall. When all seems lost, the laborers are exhausted and filled with doubt in their mission, and Israel’s enemies are creeping in, Nehemiah, with God’s favor, devises a new plan and leads the Israelites to success. Nehemiah’s challenges are very similar to those we face as a nation when it comes to health care. We all want good and affordable coverage that will work for our generation and the generations to come. The people tasked with developing that system have failed to work together. Our media and political extremists hound anyone who seeks to unite opposing parties. What we lack is one leader like Nehemiah, who by faith in God and humility of self, can solve this issue. The lesson of Nehemiah is twofold. First, that even the most daunting of tasks can be completed by faith. Secondly, that things tend to work out when God gets the credit. What should give all of us hope, is that God is in control, and he will raise up another Nehemiah in His time. Pray today that our leaders find the courage to govern and negotiate with sincerity and sense of duty to our nation. Pray for God for raise up a leader like Nehemiah, who by faith can lead our nation to success.
"10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”11 Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” -- Nehemiah 4:10-19