Day 3

We Prepared to Rebuild the Walls

from the Nehemiah reading plan

Nehemiah 2:11-20, Isaiah 62:8-12, Ephesians 2:19-22, James 2:14-26

BY Kaitlin Wernet

Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 2:11-20, Isaiah 62:8-12, Ephesians 2:19-22, James 2:14-26

Ask any of my friends and they will tell you this: I am terrible at the game of Jenga. It’s the one with wooden blocks stacked tall and intricately as a puzzle of sorts, criss-crossed in a stack that begs to remain unbroken. And yet, that is exactly the point of the game: taking turns slowly choosing just the right block to strategically remove, all while keeping the tower standing and intact. The first few rounds include some easy takeaways, but as the blocks continue to be removed the chances of the tower tumbling increase. And trust me, you do not want to be the one choosing the wrong block, causing the tumble, and ending the game.

Many days, it feels as if tragedy is looming and pain is just around the corner. Afraid, we don’t want to be the one to make our joys tumble into sadness, or witness our hopes disintegrating into ruin. No one wants to fall.

Jerusalem’s wall fell. Torn down and destroyed by fire, the walls and gates surrounding Nehemiah’s beloved city whispered a disgraceful story of shame and abandonment. Like standing beside a spilled tower of blocks, Jerusalem was filled with nothing but past memories and lost hopes. That is, until Nehemiah showed up with plans only God could have laid on His heart:

“You see the trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned. Come, let’s rebuild Jerusalem’s wall, so that we will no longer be a disgrace” (Nehemiah 2:17).

While we fear destruction and are anticipating all the ways we could mess things up, God has already planned restoration. Where we stand in ruin, He sees new creation.

Unfortunately, I have a hard time remembering this truth when I’m in the midst of painful circumstances. And every time I choose the wrong Jenga block, so to speak, I vow to never play again, wondering what I could have done differently to avoid pain. The thought that doesn’t cross my mind so easily is this: rebuild. I don’t see the point in stacking the blocks up again, only to fall once more.

But rebuilding is not an afterthought to God. Restoration and redemption are His priority. By God’s mercy, He allows our eyes to see glimpses of the restoration plan and invites our hands and hearts into the work. Nehemiah trusted in the good work God was doing through him, even when he could not yet envision the final product. He knew the God of the heavens would grant them success (v.20).

A new wall for Jerusalem meant much more than one more round of Jenga. The rebuilt walls protected a temple, creating a safe and sacred space for worship. In the same way, our God is always building us up to know and adore Him more. This is true restoration. Thanks be to Him.


Post Comments (107)

107 thoughts on "We Prepared to Rebuild the Walls"

  1. Emily Gates says:

    The idea that He has my restoration planned is hard to keep believing. Each horrific event, failure, or even minor mistake is a reminder that we aren’t perfect so why keep trying? Because, it’s not the mistake that makes us who we are. It’s our end story with God. The full peace and restoration He promises with Him. For eternity!

  2. Soraya DosSantos says:

    What a powerful, forgiving God we serve! And his grace is such a beautiful gift….I accept with an open arms and heart! Amen!!!

  3. Vanessa Pardi says:

    I had never thought of this passage also mirroring the importance to protect the temple of our lives and our sacred and safe spaces for worship. Amazing passage today!

  4. Melanie Hilton says:


  5. Wow, how incredibly beautiful that our God decides to build us up, time and time again. Most of the time it’s us breaking ourselves down, it’s us hindering ourselves from truly resting in the Lord and being who He calls us to be. But He is so good, he chooses to look past our downfalls, pick up the pieces, and put them back together – but better than before- stronger than before. Keeping this a reminder throughout my days, to purposefully strive to grow and flourish in Him, but when I get knocked down to not be discouraged because I KNOW He will rebuild me better than I was before. He is so good.

  6. Heather Totten says:

    God is a God of restoration! We can rebuild the ruins of our lives, not by our might or power, but by his Spirit!

  7. Kaydee Merritt says:

    It’s so awesome to know that God sees creation and newness when all we can see is destruction and loss in our life. He works all things for good. I loved Isaiah 62:12 that says the people of Israel (and us as adoption children of Israel) shall be called Sought Out. Even when we are far, God seeks us!

  8. Holly says:

    Thanks so much for these words Kaitlin. I’ve been stuck for a couple of years now scared to move forward in case I fail. I feel God’s presence nudging me forward but while I trust Him, I just do not trust myself. Reading these words: “While we fear destruction and are anticipating all the ways we could mess things up, God has already planned restoration. Where we stand in ruin, He sees new creation,” made my spirit leap.
    I have been meaning to get back to SRT and the Bible studies since Lent. I fell off about halfway through Lent for some reason. But I have been feeling the call the last couple of weeks but yesterday it was too strong to ignore so I jumped into Nehemiah and did the first 2 days which moved me and felt like Nehemiah is what I need, my life feels and is a mess right now and Nehemiah is about taking the ruins and rebuilding so I truly feel led by my Father. Today, reading your essay on Nehemiah I realize this is what He wanted me to see, where I see only ruin and despair, He has already planned my restoration and joy.
    Thank you so much, I just am totally overwhelmed at how on point this was.

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