They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble
and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
(Nehemiah 1:3, NIV)
Nehemiah lived in the time known as the Exile (445/444 BC). He was a 3rd generation Jew and had been born in captivity. He lived 800 miles from his homeland in the palace of the Persian King Artaxerxes, where he served as his cup-bearer. 150 years earlier the Babylonians had overrun southern Israel and burned the capital city of Jerusalem and the Temple. They killed thousands of Israelites and carted thousands more to their country.
Nehemiah receives a report from one of his brothers that things back in Jerusalem are still a wreck. The news breaks his heart so much that he sat down and wept. After several months of mourning and fasting, he decides to take a risk and ask the King if he can go home and rebuild the walls. It was a great risk, because as a slave his request might be seen as disloyalty and sedition toward the king.
Nehemiah had a “Holy Discontent.” Holy Discontent is being so broken hearted about something, that it comes in line with the heart of God in a way that spurs you to do something to make a righteous change. Discontent without “Holy” means you turn and walk away, or you get it out of your eye.
Nehemiah looked on the plight of his people and his holy discontent would not let him tolerate their situation. He did not just see the brokenness, he allowed God to let him see what could be. The king granted his request and provided him with all the resources he would need to rebuild the walls.
Not all of us have the same discontent. My holy discontent is seeing people who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That is why I am on the path I am on. I want to do everything I can to empower, invigorate and expand the mission of the church to accomplish the Great Commission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
What is your holy discontent? Have you found it yet? As you look on the landscape of your life and this world, what do you see that ignites a passion within you demanding holy action? As a church what demands holy action from Princeton UMC?
Prayer: Holy God, give us eyes to see the world as you do and holy discontented hearts of courage and creativity to do something to make a righteous change for your Kingdom. In the name of Christ. Amen.
In His Word,
Reverend Dee Dee