Nehemiah 4:6: “So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.”
Nehemiah’s story demonstrates the power of determination, focus, and courage. His people were captives, stolen away from their hearts’ home. Yet God remained with them; the people still had work to do. God granted Nehemiah influence with his people which sparked their will to complete the task set before them. And God even guided the king to give his approval.
The walls of their beloved city, Jerusalem were in ruins. The old and sick had little to no protection from those seeking to loot their dwindling resources. Yet God had not forgotten His
people. Under Nehemiah’s leadership, the prisoners rebuilt the destroyed wall in record time because the people had a mind to work.
Please understand, having God’s favor does not immunize us against distraction or opposition. In reality, God’s goodness over our lives and assignments can attract contrary opinions and retaliatory practices. In Nehemiah’s case, he had to deal with haters from the outside and hecklers from within his clan. The outsiders laughed at the wall’s construction. Some stated, “the wall is so weak a fox running across it will cause the wall to collapse.” Those inside the camp appealed to Nehemiah’s human desire for survival and invited him to “come in out of harm’s way.”
Threats on his life and seeming concern for his safety were intended to keep Nehemiah from finishing the project and interfere with his obedience to God. Nehemiah continued to work. As a leader, he set the example for others by operating in faithful trust toward God. Understanding the mission’s magnitude, Nehemiah would not be frightened offtask or sweet-talked into compromise. Nehemiah established boundaries for success which neither fear nor friendship could breach. His example inspired his people’s courage and the people had a mind to work.
Bennett College is committed to offering each Belle a quality education through remote instruction. Our nation and the world are facing an unprecedented crisis that is unsettling, to say the least. Our communities are experiencing severe losses of life and livelihood at staggering rates. Thankfully, the news also reports a multitude of neighbors in recovery and gracious acts of kindness to abound! In some ways, this crisis is a catalyst connecting human hearts and spirits more intentionally.
We see in our separation from one another the challenge of staying focused. Belles, while you are away from your familiar setting for learning and bonding, your wall of academic achievement may be sagging or in need of repair. Your will to build may be waning. However, we still have a job to complete! We still have destinies to fulfill that fear of failure or fear of success cannot derail.
Nehemiah organized the people according to their gifts, stationing them strategically according to their abilities. The scriptural account teaches us everyone including the little ones had a role in restoring the wall. The people had a mind to work. They toiled with both hands full: one hand was used for construction and the other hand carried a weapon for protection.
Belles, while we are engaged in remote classes, do you have a mind to work? What tools are you utilizing? What resources are readily available to support your desire to finish strong? What weapons protect you from distraction, low motivation, and the changes we are all called to make? Need help? We are here to assist you.
We are on your side, cheering you on to victory. We are running in front of you to offer direction. We are running beside you as partners in your development. And we are running behind you with gentle and not so subtle nudges of encouragement. We are attempting to move you forward or in some cases chase you toward the finish line.
What personal and professional boundaries guard your goals? You are encouraged to schedule time for self-reflection. Continue having honest conversations with yourself and your loved ones. Please don’t forget, we are all adjusting to this “normal for now.” Remember, God has equipped us and empowered us for “such a time as this.” The God who will neither leave nor forsake us is more than able to show Himself mighty on our behalf.
Stay prayerful and careful. Let it be said, “Bennett Belles do it well” because Belles have a mind to work. AMEN.