My momma often said, “There are no easy answers.”
Sometimes, when you get bad news, there’s no easy or ready-made solution.
Some problems just don’t get solved right away.
Some, it seems, linger. They hang around awhile . . . a good, long while.
We just can’t do anything about it.
Or can we?
Nehemiah received the bad report from his brother about the grievous state of Jerusalem (Neh 1:1-3) in the month of Chislev.
It was the month of Nisan before he spoke of it to the king.
It’s four months from Chislev to Nisan. Four!
It was four long months before he could do a thing about what troubled him.
What could he possibly do?
It was out of his hands and beyond his control.
However, read the verbs in verse 4: he wept, mourned, fasted, prayed.
It was all he could do.
But these aren’t just any verbs, these are powerful verbs—because they lean into the omnipotent God Almighty.
It may have been all he could do, but it was the best he could do.
He laid his burden into God’s all-sufficient hands.
And when the time was right, he moved into action by the grace of God.
But for a time, he tarried in sorrowful prayer. The future was unknown. And God’s answer to prayer, unseen.
In the attribute that is His righteous justice, God exiled the Israelites. But Nehemiah petitioned God to act upon the attribute of His faithfulness and mercy.
And God granted his request.
Nehemiah had to endure a period of preparation, then a three-month journey before God delivered him to Jerusalem. He would then spend the next 12 years leading a rebuilding campaign.
But only after a season of bitter tears—waiting before the Lord in prayer and fasting.
If you are struggling today, and there’s nothing you can do about it, take a cue from Nehemiah.
Allow the reminder to boost hope and endurance to keep on praying. You may think it won’t bring about change. But think again.
It’s not only all you can do—it’s the best you can do.