A Great Work

Over the last few seasons we have had folk we love share their concerns over our choices.  Our choices are wacky and uncomfortable and seemingly unwise; though no one calls any of our choices sin, they feel a sense of gravity about the ‘direness’ of our situation.

Imagine, choosing life is now considered reckless.

Our life is too different, too full of children, too sheltered, too unconventional, too free from culture-junk.

We have had meetings and chats and conversations to address our nutty, ‘problematic’ thinking.

How can I justify to men what our upside-down God has called us to do?  We certainly aren’t walking this out perfectly, but I’m pretty sure Noah looked like an idiot too, and he was actually amazing.

I suppose I am in good company.

Nehemiah, too, refreshes me.  I love this story where he goes about the immense task of rebuilding the ancient wall around Jerusalem.  He is busy working away, filling in the gaps, all the while crammed with vision, and commissioned by God to work at this huge and thankless task.  He is all mission, all focus.

And then these guys say to him, “Come, let us meet together…”

{They don’t want him to work on the wall!}

So, I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.  Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?”

But they sent me this message four times [even a letter with false accusations]…  Then I sent to [them], saying, “No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own heart.”

For they were trying to make us afraid, saying “Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.”

Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands…

Oh, yes, I am doing a great work and I don’t have time to converse and convince others about what God has asked me to do.

These hearts that we are growing in this atmosphere of faith and hope are full of the light of their Heavenly Father; this is radical holy work.

The grueling days of hard, hot, heavy work stretch out before me like a seemingly endless wall, where I fit one humble pebble at a time into the gaps, trusting that this business is the work that God prepared in advance for me to do.

Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands!

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6 thoughts on “A Great Work

  1. It’s amazing — our culture see obedience and conviction as “reckless”. It’s an backwards world and we are seeing scripture being fulfilled. And it very very sad, and I am sure it hurt the Lord more. I get really sad when I ponder how quick the “world” is turning away from God and by doing that are reaping the curses of those choices. Be blessed as you obey The Lord and not man. and May HE give you strength where you have none and love for this ever aching culture (world) we live in.

  2. God bless you for your obedience to The Lord. It’s so hard to meet disapproval from those we love, but it is right to obey God rather than man. We have (only) six and my parents are a bit disappointed in our large family-but they love them all! We are older (40!) so six may be it for us, and my only regret is that we ever “played God” in our younger years and decided to stop after four children. God dealt mercifully with us and we were able to have two more, but who is missing from our table because of our disobedience?

    • Oh, thank you for sharing so openly Erin. I didn’t think it would be so hard, but facing the disapproval of family is so much more difficult than just the culture ‘at large’…

  3. (Sorry if you get two similar comments….. the last one vanished and I’m not sure if it is in the process of being posted or not or just gone……)
    I was reading this passage in the past week or two and was SO encouraged by it. Oh, that this would be our response “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down!” Oh, that our hearts would be completely committed to following God’s plan for our lives that we would not waver when people ask, beg, plead demand that we come down and discuss the great (“reckless”) work. Let us stay on the wall and build! Let us pray all the while for those around us. I don’t think any amount of discussion or convincing will cause people to understand anyway. My own journey toward embracing more children started with a simple prayer, “Lord, I’m not willing. But if it’s your will – make me willing.” Only God could have brought my heart to where it is now. Certainly, there have been some discussions (usually with another builder who, late in the night when rest must come, has taken the time to share her heart with me 😉 that have shaped my thinking. This has been part of how God directed the journey. But if someone had a meeting with me and tried to convince me when my heart wasn’t ready I can pretty much guarantee how that would have turned out!

    Love you…. and super excited about baby nine!

    • Love you so much.

      Your journey is SUCH an encouragement to me 🙂 I’m so glad you found blessing in that same passage… Sometimes, I wonder if I’m misapplying it, but it seems so terribly relevant!

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