But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
Thank you for the beautiful sunrise this morning. The one I wouldn't have seen if I hadn't forgotten that I needed something from my husband. The one I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't stopped my running on the treadmill; if I hadn't gotten in the car and driven east to the freeway. East, God. You knew I'd be driving east. It was a late sunrise. The sky was already tinged in blue. But the clouds, God, you did a really nice job with the clouds this morning. There weren't very many and they weren't very big. But they were perfect. Perfectly white in the middle with hints of orange and pink toward the edges. And those edges shimmered with light like neon halos of gold. Oh, I don't know about neon halos, but they were bright. And beautiful. And like I said, perfect.
Like you, God. You must have known that I needed to see the sunrise this morning. You must have known that I was feeling a little bit like the night. A little bit on the underexposed side - you must have known I needed to see your light early. Because that's how you are, isn't it? You give us just what we need, right when we need it.
Yesterday, you did the same thing with the message at church. About the prayer of Nehemiah. Not the long prayer in the first chapter - but the little plea for help in the sixth. It was a simple prayer. Thank you for showing me that simple is ok, too. Sometimes it's the best thing, right? Too many words can muddle up the message.
I liked the message yesterday - strengthen my hands. Because Nehemiah was literally re-building the wall of Jerusalem. The success of his mission depended on the literal strength of his hands. But, God, you are a master of stories and stories within stories. Did you also mean for the walls to stand for something else? A metaphor, maybe? Like building a life for you? Because Nehemiah did that, too. He brought a whole bunch of those Israelites back to you. He brought back the holy in the city. I bet you strengthened Nehemiah's metaphor-hands as well, didn't you? You strengthened him within your own will, didn't you? You strengthened his leadership, his peace, his generosity, his service. Because he and his workers were successful in a ridiculously short amount of time. That wall was finished in 52 days. That's less than two months. Amazing.
God, strengthen my hands. You have something in store for me to do - something wonderful! Help me to not be so busy on the treadmill of my life, that I miss it. Help me to see it clearly - like your sunset this morning. Help me to embrace this new opportunity. Help me to build my life in you. Strengthen my hands. Strengthen my heart. Strengthen my faith. Thank you, Amazing God!