God Will Make a Way

Note: This reflection continues a series based on the Bible book of Nehemiah.

When was the last time you felt like your life and business hit a dead end, stuck in a mire of impossible circumstances? Maybe you feel that way today. If so, you should be able to genuinely relate to Nehemiah. Having heard about the dire conditions in Jerusalem during the month of Chisley (our November and December), with its broken-down walls and splintered community, Nehemiah earnestly called out to God. Ultimately he was confident of God’s clear call to step into that moment, yet he had to wonder what he could really do about such chaos (Nehemiah 1: 1-3).

Consider those circumstances:

  • Susa [modern Shush in southwestern Iran] was close to 800 miles from Jerusalem–no planes, no trains, no cars!
  • Nehemiah had no access to the needed resources to rebuild walls of such magnitude (a section found in recent years at the city of David’s highest point, is still 9 feet high and 7-11 feet thick).
  • Nehemiah already had a royal job with great responsibility. How could he afford a leave of absence for this project?
  • Nehemiah was under the Persian king’s authority–could he be trusted to come and go, much less to be in charge of such an undertaking?

1. Praying and waiting often go together. As Nehemiah fasted and prayed he surely contemplated the situation, imagining various scenarios and strategies (Nehemiah 1:4-10). But no clear answer came quickly. As Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs each step.” So he continued to wait and continued to ask for wisdom. By the month of Nisan (our March and April) four months later, still no clear direction had arrived. Can you identify with his spiritual journey?

You’ve prayed and planned but seem to have heard nothing. In those moments we are challenged to trust that in the right time that God will make a way for everything He purposes. We wish that would always line up with our aspirations and endeavors! We can pray Job 42:2 with assurance: “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Praying with patience helps us seek to align ourselves with God’s plans.

2. God works while we wait. Nehemiah 2:2 reveals that Nehemiah was very fearful about how the King would respond to his request. Clearly, Nehemiah had done his homework and was prepared to answer the King’s questions. But God had long ago promised that He would use a pagan king to restore His people after their exile (Isaiah 45). The King of Persia not only gave his permission but also the resources, the authority and the blessing to move forward with the very thing God had put on Nehemiah’s heart to do!

One of the great benefits–and challenges–in Business is the number of tools, techniques and strategies we can employ to push our ideas and projects forward. Human initiative can appear to be fool-proof . . . until its not. We must learn to see ourselves as God’s stewards (agents, an overseer of another’s property–1 Corinthians 4:1-2). There will be times we get stuck and run into adverse situations. But God has promised to be with us and to guide us–in due time–in the best way forward.

Serving Him with you in the marketplace,

David Atchison

Lord, every time I get stuck in an impossible situation I tend to focus on finding my own way. You have given me a mind and experience to draw from, but ultimately I want to find Your way, Your path. So, I come today asking you to stretch my faith muscles and expand my level of trust in You. As the Psalmist wrote, “Nevertheless, I am continually with You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel and afterward You will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” (Psalm 73:23-25)

“The main obstacle to finding God’s way through the crises and gaps of life is failing to believe a way exists.” – Henry Cloud & John Townsend, God Will Make A Way