So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days.
Nehemiah 2:11 (ESV)
Transition … from a place of difficulty to a place of abundance.
Nehemiah went to Jerusalem…as he was on his journey. He was traveling with letters from the king, to the governors of the land so that they would let him have safe passage. Verse 8 says that the king wrote these letters for him (as well as sent along army officers and horsemen to protect him) “because the gracious hand of God was on me.” So we know he is in alignment with God’s purposes.
Continuing: 10But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel.
This journey is not easy, nor simple. And it is also emotionally stressful for Nehemiah … concerning Sanballat and Tobiah who don’t want anyone to help the people of Israel – but which Nehemiah is most definitely trying to do.
So he arrives in Jerusalem.
Then … Three days later, 12 I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding.
He keeps his mouth shut. He does not speak to anyone about what God has said to him.
Transition time. Battle. The internal battle of discernment and wisdom of how to act in a situation … and understanding that God has given you a purpose that no other person can help you with. A purpose that requires the strength of heart and of character.
Sometimes, speaking of these things is detrimental to what God is trying to do in you, and with you. It is sometimes best to keep silent, so as to keep the course.
This silence reminded me of Daniel .. .how he would pray in secret. Yes, still he was seen and reported to the king …but he wasn’t praying to disgrace the king. He was doing it out of his heart and love for God. His first allegiance was to God.
If Daniel had proclaimed his prayer times and done it in public, that would have been disgraceful to the king – a direct insult. But when King Darius found out and had him arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” The king was not angry with Daniel but was following through with the law he had made. He actually had compassion for Daniel…and as we read earlier, King Darius was ‘deeply troubled, and he tried to think of a way to save Daniel. He spent the rest of the day looking for a way to get Daniel out of this predicament.’ There was favor on Daniel … this is all part of God’s plan. Daniel is not seen in outrage or emotionally reactive…rather, even after his night with the lions, he responds with “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” Daniel 6:22
Daniel was upstanding in the way he responded to the king. We don’t know how he felt, .. but not a scratch was found on him. It seems that he was peaceful. The Bible says ‘Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.’ Daniel 6:23. King Darius went on to punish the men and their families by feeding them to the same lions. Then he decreed in many languages that everyone must fear Daniel’s God. 28‘So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.’ Into a place of abundance.
As we too move through transition, let us keep our wits about us. 🙂 Keep cool-headed, and our emotions at peace. If what hardship you are going through is truly allowed by God as growth to that place of abundance, and you are in alignment with Him, then surely good things are on their way to you. Keep your head up, keep what He speaks to you hidden in your heart, and build your strength and dependence on His ways.