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 (108)

108 thoughts on "We Prepared to Rebuild the Walls"

  1. Andie Battles says:

    One Wednesday night as my husband was speaking to the youth he told them that God turns our messes into his masterpiece. A wall in ruins is rebuilt into a masterpiece. One of my favorite verses is : “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1-2‬ ‭
    This reminds me I am chosen and redeemed.

  2. Lutho Matiwane says:

    “Restoration and Redemption are His priority” ❤️

  3. Page Page says:

    It is good to know scary things are ok when you have God on your side. God is there to bring you thru.

  4. Brooke Zeolla says:

    One thing I struggle with is taking chances and not relying on what I know God can do and chose to take the “safe” route. I often forget that he has everything under control and that he only wants what is good for me. This was a good reminder that it’s okay to be unsure of things and take a leap of faith, God is always on my side, all things work for the good of those who love him.

  5. Rachel Griffith says:

    It never ceases to amaze how God will provide answers – especially in times of doubt and questioning.
    I was reading an article the other day about two parents were being sent to jail for the murder of their premature daughter and the mistreatment of her twin. A large group from their congregation attended the birthing of the twins at their home. This particular congregation does not believe in professional medical treatment, they solely rely on laying hands and prayer. Because the girls were premature, they were having difficulties breathing, and later found out that they had something going on with their respiratory systems.
    This article confused me a bit because I believe in the power of prayer and know that complete healing can come from prayer alone – but I also believe that God has given each of us special skills.
    I wasn’t sure where I stood after this article because I felt that I was being doubtful if I thought that yes they definitely should have called a doctor to seek treatment and why would they take no action. Can both not be done in good faith?

    After reading today and being reminded that faith and action go hand and hand, I see that yes, ultimately the decision is in Gods hands, but he did not put us here to sit and do nothing – we are meant to take action and show our faith through our actions. You cannot have one without the other. All that was created, was created by his hands with a purpose.

    1. Tori Schmidt says:


      I glanced at the comments today and yours was the only one I read.

      Thank you for commenting (a month ago).

      My son was diagnosed with Autism a few years ago. He came home at 17 months from an orphanage where he was quite neglected. I’ve been struggling for the 3 years since his adoption with what to do. The diagnose was a surprise above his special need that we knew he had.

      I lay hands on him nightly and thank Jesus for bearing the stripes for his healing, but during the day I search and search for medical interventions to help him. I’ve taken him overseas twice for stem cell treatments and my heart is aching to go again as we see improvements with the treatments.

      BUT… then I feel I am not walking in faith that he can receive divine healing.

      Your comment is encouraging that

  6. Sarah Guy says:

    One day we will see a restoration that will not fail. But until then we are called to repeatedly rebuild in a way that points forward to God’s great future work of restoration.

  7. Maya Bulos says:

    Wow this really spoke to me today. I didny realUe how much I feel like the walls of Jerusalem. Torn down, destroyed, in ruins, hopeless. I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost 2 years ago. Since then its ben surgeries, treatment, ongoing therapies to prevent reocurrance.. and I feel like every part of what defined me as a woman has been destroyed. I know theres hope, and many have confirmed the promise of God for my life- that i will live and not die, but the battle of fear and anxiety is overwhelming some days. This was a reminder for me that God sees as Nehemiah saw the broken down walls and will rebuild and restore me as they did the walls of Jerusalem.

    1. Hannah Shelton says:

      Maya, I’m saying prayers for you now!! So glad God has encouraged you about His restoration. I have gone through medical issues and He was speaking the same to me ❤️❤️

  8. Terrie Fulk says:

    I had my own devastation 5 years ago. I lost my soulmate, best friend, and husband of 33 years. We were preparing to celebrate our 29th Wedding Anniversary when 2 days before he suddenly passed away. I have been trying to cope with it by myself for years. Hiding my feelings from my kids, family and friends. Only recently I have come to God to let Him help me rebuild my life in the way of His desire.

    1. Jessica Wallace says:

      Oh Terrie. What great loss! The burden you have carried alone for these past years

    2. Jessica Wallace says:

      (Oops, hit send too soon)
      It breaks my heart with you to ready this – the burden of walking through the grief and hurt alone must have been so heavy! I just prayed for you – that God would meet you and you would find comfort in Him. May He speak peace into your heart, help you find your voice to heal, and do an amazing work on your heart of rebuilding the broken pieces. ❤️

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