Rise and Build
“And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ So they strengthened their hands for the good work.” - Nehemiah 2:18 (ESV)
One of my favorite things about team sports is the way a group of individuals comes together to achieve a common goal. Often the best teams are the ones that form a cohesive unit and work very hard toward their goal. The best teams also seem to have a very clear sense of their mission.
In the arena of athletics, everyone obviously wants to win. But our mission transcends winning and losing. Our mission as athletes is to give our very best effort day in and day out to glorify God who has blessed us with these opportunities.
I love the example of a solid team that we see in the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah felt called to leave his job and travel to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall of the city. This was a job that many had deemed impossible, and he would face fierce opposition to accomplish his goal. Despite this Nehemiah led a group of others to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and they had all the makings of a great team. As we see in Nehemiah 2:18, they had a clear sense of their mission as defined by God.
But there’s another important point to note. Things were not easy for the builders just because they were working on the mission given to them by God. In fact, Nehemiah 4:17 says that things were so tough that the workers had to work on the wall with one hand and hold their weapon in the other. Things definitely were not all sunshine and rainbows for them! This goes to show us that just because things are difficult, it doesn’t mean we should give up—especially when we know we are doing the work that God has called us to do!
Nehemiah provides us with a great example of accepting his mission, uniting his team and persisting for the glory of God.
- How would you define your mission in sports? In life?
- How can you encourage your team to persist in the face of adversity?
- Jeremiah 29:11
- Philippians 3:14