I recently watched some guys putting down a concrete path.
Just before they laid the concrete down, a mesh of steel reinforcing was placed into the trench. The concrete was then poured around this mesh until hidden away.
Now I have seen concrete work done where there was no reinforcing mesh. With a little time and some pressure the concrete just cracked open like a biscuit.
Do you know some people who seem brittle? That with a little stress, life seems to crack open. Perhaps you are that person?
What would it be like to have some steel reinforcing in your life? An inner strength that holds you solid.
When you are rebuilding your life you need to have some internal reinforcers. Something unseen, giving you an inner strength.
A personal observation is that the relationships you are the reinforcers. In particular your relationship with God and your relationship with a few key others. Combined together, like a mesh, an incredible amount of inner strength can be had.
I have been working through the story of Nehemiah. Check out other posts here.
In this next instalment we find Nehemiah had reinforcers to his life and his call.
The generous hand of my God was with me in this and the king gave them to me. When I met the governors across The River (the Euphrates) I showed them the king’s letters. The king even sent along a cavalry escort. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very upset, angry that anyone would come to look after the interests of the People of Israel. Nehemiah 2:9-10
I love those words. ‘The generous hand of my God was with me in this’
Wouldn’t it be great to sense the warm powerful arm of God gently resting on your shoulder. Then have words whispered ‘I am with you’.
I think Nehemiah knew that Gods hand was upon him. A gentle generous hand. There were obstacles to be overcome but he had that sense of presence close to him.
Nehemiah also had the backing of human reinforcement. The King of Persia was his sponsor and a powerful authority that opened doors. The King also provided Nehemiah a bodyguard of soldiers to reinforce the mission. Perhaps the King knew ahead of time that this was going to be no easy task, that Nehemiah was going to run to opposition.
Rebuilders need two reinforcing rods.
1. A Sense of Gods Presence.
I believe rebuilding requires a deep connection with the God, not a calling in of God from the sideline. We need to know this presence intimately at all times.
Rebuilders, in the struggle of the moment, seek after God first and find ‘all these things added’ to them.
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Matthew 6:33
Wise C.S. Lewis writes this …
Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first and we lose both first and second things.
This is what Turning the Page is dedicated to.
To inspire Mental Health through Spiritual Formation. Seeing people connect into God deeply, and mental health flourish out of this.
2. A few good friends that will carry the light of hope.
Rebuilding is tough work.
You experience setbacks, frustrations and then people like Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite come along. It’s in these times we need others who can reinforce our flagging arms.
We need people who can say to us in many and various ways ‘I believe in you. You can make it’
Recently I had a comment left on the post You want to be known but
Hi Barry thanks for this. I’m writing from a place of being pretty well for the last decade or so, after being plagued with depression, a constant suicidal tape etc for a good decade before that.
For me it was actually really helpful when others shared their stories and when they prayed for me.
I know that when people pray there can be huge expectations of quick fixes, but I didn’t want to be unwell like that, and so to have people enter in and dare to hope with me was really powerful. Kathy Davies
Rebuilders have a few close, safe, friends who want to know you. They are fellow stumblers who will ‘enter in and dare to hope’.
Quotes to consider
- The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear Maya Angelou
- Friendship is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself liked that. C.S. Lewis
Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread. D.T. Niles
We cannot attain the presence of God. We’re already totally in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness David G. Benner
Questions to answer
- Now much is loneliness part of a downward spiral of mental unwellness?
- What would it be like to sense Gods strong, gentle hand of assurance resting on your shoulder?
- What habits help you to form these reinforcer’s in your mind?
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