Your people will rebuild the old cities that are now in ruins; you will rebuild their foundations. You will be known for repairing the broken places and for rebuilding the roads and houses. Isaiah 58:12 (New Century Version)
Nehemiah was a man who lived comfortably in the service of a king. Though he was a servant, his place was one of honor because to serve a king his wine was to protect his life. Had someone wanted to kill the king by poisoning the wine, Nehemiah was the one trusted to guard him. Yet, when Nehemiah hears of how the walls of Jerusalem have broken down to ruins, his heart breaks. His comfortable position in the palace means nothing to him in comparison to the land of his fathers being broken and its people living in shame. So he bravely asks his king to allow him to return to Jerusalem in order to rebuild her walls.
We live our lives walking amongst ruins. The remnants of once great cities are cracked pillars and broken walls. There are people around us each day who are living in their wreckage; the co-worker who’s been divorced and now thinks she’ll never find love, the young teenage girl who’s grown up without a father and thinks it’s her fault, the young man who believes he can’t succeed because others have told him he would fail. The different forms of ruins are countless. Dreams, ideals, hopes, families, self-esteem, ethics, careers, marriages, friendships...all of these can be broken down into ‘ruins’.
Yet God has given us His Spirit and it has the power to rebuild. These ruins are not hopeless rocks, but cities waiting on our love to rebuild them. The scripture says, “We will be known for repairing the broken places...” We must be aware of these places and take the opportunities to help restore them. We can offer an encouraging word, give a compliment, take someone on a coffee date, value someone’s ideas, etc,. If we open our hearts and pay attention, we can find the ruins around us and begin to build them back up again!