Saturday, August 14, 2010

Nehemiah 8: Celebrate!

From Garden to City reading:  Nehemiah 8

I'm back.
It's been a long week as I sort through mixed feelings.
Yesterday I prepared for the NBSOM graduation, to celebrate what God has done in the lives of these students who stuck it out an entire year, who immersed themselves in God's Word, committed to serving Him, and spent time with a mentor, who encouraged and challenged them.

And I just wanted to celebrate.
But I knew this was the end of a regular job and a sense of financial security.  (It's not huge, but I was getting a paycheck every other week.  And that's something.)  And so I was on the verge of tears most of the day.  Yes, I think it's sort of like feeling sorry for myself.  And it's a lot like not trusting God, not being excited to see what he's going to do.  Neither of those things are okay.  Sometimes I don't like being human.

This rambling actually does connect to the Nehemiah 8.
The Israelites finished the wall, and they gather together to hear Ezra read God's Word.  There's power in the Word, and they fell to the ground and wept loudly as they heard the words.

Ezra interrupted them, saying, "Stop!  This isn't a time to mourn your sin and what's been lost because of it.  This is the time to celebrate what God's doing NOW!  Now get up and celebrate.  Go eat and drink the best of what you've got.  And share with those who don't have as much as you do.  Laugh.  Sing.  Be joyful.
There is definitely a time to mourn.  But it should never take away from our celebration.

All day I asked God to help me celebrate last night.  (I know this isn't a direct parallel, but it's the best I can do.)  I really did.  God blessed these students tremendously, filled them with His Spirit and taught them how to read his Word.  And I got to be a part of it.  Why not rejoice?

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