In the Old Testament we read how Nehemiah, a Jew in exile from his homeland, learned about the state of the survivors. The bearers of bad news told him, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace.
Sometimes God uses a broken person to fix a city. When God gave Nehemiah the vision to rebuild Jerusalem, he was in exile. He was a captive. He was bent under the weight of anguish. But that brokenness was the raw material God used to send him back to the City of Zion and restore it – and its people.
While running recently, I listened to a recording of the Book of Nehemiah. It takes about 9 ½ kilometers to listen to the whole book (unless I skip some of the genealogical parts).
Two things jumped out at me. First, Nehemiah confesses that “God put on his heart” the call to rebuild the wall of the devastated city of Jerusalem.