They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days, I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Countless people struggle with discerning what God has called them to do with their lives. This is true whether you’re in college and choosing a major or in your mid-forties and wondering if you’re wasting your life on a job you barely want to wake up to, much less give your life to.
If you’re ever in this position, ask this question to help yourself:
What is the brokenness in the world that produces a brokenness inside of me?
For Nehemiah, it was his people’s condition and the broken down walls of Jerusalem. What is it for you?
People who are far from God?
The state of the educational system?
The lack of honor in our world?
What is broken down that breaks you down?
Once you’ve figured that out, your next step is simple: build it back up.
That was Nehemiah’s calling. And that’s your calling. To build up the brokenness that produces a brokenness inside of you. Neither brokenness will go away until you do.
For some of you, that will mean leaving what you’re doing and giving yourself completely to it. Starting a new career. Moving to a new country. Leaving the ministry and going to work for a church so that you can empower others in theirs (that sounds weird, but trust me, that’s how it’s supposed to work).
For others of you, it will mean you’ll keep doing what you’re doing, but you’ll need to go about it with a brand new purpose. Open up your eyes to see that you’re not just collecting a paycheck. Be an agent of change at work or in your school where you already are.
Whatever it looks like, there’s definitely one thing God hasn’t called us to do: nothing. God hasn’t put us on this Earth to have a front row seat to a broken down world. Or complain about how broken it is. He’s put us here to build it back up.
So let’s find our place. And get to work.