Worth the Wait
Worth the Wait
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Nehemiah 1:4 (NIV)
Like most couples, my husband and I are a classic case of opposites attracting. He is the kind of guy who prints out the map and fills the gas tank the night before. I’m the kind of girl who is 30 minutes into the trip before realizing I don’t have the address. He is blueprints and floorplans. I’m the sledgehammer swinging before deciding which room we are renovating.
When things grow heated, my instinct is to settle it in the moment. When I am fired up, I want to hash it out pronto. My husband’s approach is a little different. “Let’s talk about this when we calm down,” are his fighting words of choice.
In Chapter 1 of Nehemiah, Nehemiah asks his brother Hanani how the Jews who had left exile and returned to Jerusalem were doing. Hanani explains that they’re in trouble: Jerusalem’s wall is broken down and its gates have been burned.
Nehemiah says: “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:4)
Overcome with emotion, there is much Nehemiah could have done upon hearing this news, but instead of acting impulsively, Nehemiah weeps. He mourns. He fasts. He prays. Weeping and mourning allowed Nehemiah to process through his emotions. Fasting demonstrated the depth of his desire to listen to and hear God. And by praying, Nehemiah was aligning his will with God’s so that they could act together on the solution.
Likewise, when we settle arguments my way by hashing it out in the moment, I find that my husband and I are often too distracted by our differences to come to any sort of resolution. But when we take time to process our emotions and consider what the other person is feeling, it becomes easier to come together in a solution, no matter how opposite we may be.
Father God, help us to prepare by coming to You first to align our will with Your own. Help us to seek Your counsel before reacting so that you may protect us from unwanted consequences. Keep our lines of communication to You open and free from distraction so that we may serve You best.
Instead of rushing into acts that satisfy our desires in the moment, we need to remember that the quick fix is rarely the best investment. If we can be like Nehemiah and take the time in prayer to process our emotions, seek wisdom, and align our desires with God’s desires, we’ll find the that the result is almost always worth the wait.
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