Rebuilding the Impossible

Rebuilding the Impossible

Have you ever had a moment in your life when everything before your eyes was seemingly destroyed? Utter desolation. The grief is too much to bear and you struggle to comprehend it all, much less begin the effort of rebuilding. It is in such moments that everything we thought we knew is reevaluated through a new lens of great suffering. Rebuilding the impossible is possible when we fix our eyes on God, His Word, and promises. God makes a way where there seems to be no way.

Bible Reading: Nehemiah 1-3

Nehemiah was in such a place. The people of God returned to a home that was completely destroyed after a 70-year exile.

We are in a new book of the Bible today, the book of Nehemiah. What a book it is!

From Gotquestions.org:

Author: The Book of Nehemiah does not specifically name its author, but both Jewish and Christian traditions recognize Ezra as the author. This is based on the fact that the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah were originally one.

Date of Writing: The Book of Nehemiah was likely written between 445 and 420 B.C.

Purpose of Writing: The Book of Nehemiah, one of the history books of the Bible, continues the story of Israel’s return from the Babylonian captivity and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.

Rebuilding the Impossible—A Place of Shock

Nehemiah 1:1-3

“The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: During the month of Chislev in the twentieth year, when I was in the fortress city of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, arrived with men from Judah, and I questioned them about Jerusalem and the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile. 3 They said to me, “The remnant in the province, who survived the exile, are in great trouble and disgrace. Jerusalem’s wall has been broken down, and its gates have been burned.”

Shock is incredibly hard. But shock does not have to lead to more devastation if we look up rather than down and all around us. Emotions and passions can flare as we try to process our new reality. That moment of realization of the damage that had been done overwhelmed Nehemiah and the disgrace and shame of such a public display of the destruction yielded a response from Nehemiah that we can all learn from. Rebuilding the impossible is possible when we pour out our hearts to God.

Rebuilding the Impossible—Crying Out in Supplication

Nehemiah 1:4-11

“4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of the heavens. 5 I said, Lord, the God of the heavens, the great and awe-inspiring God who keeps his gracious covenant with those who love him and keep his commands, 6 let your eyes be open and your ears be attentive to hear your servant’s prayer that I now pray to you day and night for your servants, the Israelites. I confess the sins we have committed against you. Both I and my father’s family have sinned.” Rebuilding the impossible is possible when we cry out to God.

Rebuilding the Impossible—A True Confession

7 We have acted corruptly toward you and have not kept the commands, statutes, and ordinances you gave your servant Moses. 8 Please remember what you commanded your servant Moses: “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples. 9 But if you return to me and carefully observe my commands, even though your exiles were banished to the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place where I chose to have my name dwell.” 10 They are your servants and your people. You redeemed them by your great power and strong hand.

11 Please, Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant and to that of your servants who delight to revere your name. Give your servant success today, and grant him compassion in the presence of this man. At the time, I was the king’s cupbearer.”

Rebuilding the impossible is possible when we examine ourselves, repent and turn toward God. Don’t let anything stand in the way between you and God.

Rebuilding the Impossible—A Place for Grief

Nehemiah began with a big ol’ ugly cry. Sometimes we can feel shame to do so. Yet crying out to God is the most productive cry we will ever have. That place of grief is holy. It is when we admit our pain and our inability to fix it. But Nehemiah’s grief was not bound in self-pity. He was sad for the state of God’s people. Rebuilding the impossible is possible when we admit our grief and don’t hide it. God is our Healer of all pain we endure while on this earth.

Rebuilding the Impossible—An Honest Humble Prayer

Nehemiah fasted and prayed. Fasting is a posture of humility and self-denial that can help us to focus on what matters most and to clear the muddy waters. He confessed his sins and the sins of his people/nation. Rebuilding the impossible is possible if we humble ourselves rather than being entitled or angry.

Rebuilding the Impossible—A Fervent Prayer

Nehemiah does not condemn himself or his people for their sins. He presses in fervently to ask God to act according to His promises as God’s people are faithful to return and repent. His prayer was a supplication filled with acknowledging who God was and what He had done on their behalf and what He promised to do. Even when we have failed God. We have an invitation to draw near. And if we will repent and turn away from worthless ways, God will hear us and answer. Rebuilding the impossible is possible when we pray with a fervent faith.

Rebuilding the Impossible—Notice Your Position

Another thing that Nehemiah did was to do something about the wreckage surrounding him. Note the position that God has you in. When life falls apart, God still has favor and will position you for His purposes and your healing. Don’t let devastation be your ruination. Your story is not over yet. Nehemiah was a cupbearer – though this sounds like a humble position, this was one of the highest positions before the king. A trusted position. Though it was not customary for a cupbearer to make requests of the king, Nehemiah seized the opportunity.

Rebuilding the Impossible—A Bold Request

It is not until your back is up against the wall that you might be so bodacious as to utter bold requests. Those requests that seem impossible. Nehemiah placed the matter in God’s hands and then he did what he could to help God’s people. He did not just sit around and give in to discouragement. He let that sadness fuel his desire to restore God’s people.

Nehemiah 2:1-8

“During the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was set before him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had never been sad in his presence, 2 so the king said to me, “Why do you look so sad, when you aren’t sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.”

I was overwhelmed with fear 3 and replied to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should I not be sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

4 Then the king asked me, “What is your request?”

So I prayed to the God of the heavens 5 and answered the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, send me to Judah and to the city where my ancestors are buried, so that I may rebuild it.”

Rebuilding the Impossible—A Specific Request

6 The king, with the queen seated beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you return?” So I gave him a definite time, and it pleased the king to send me.

7 I also said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let me have letters written to the governors of the region west of the Euphrates River, so that they will grant me safe passage until I reach Judah. 8 And let me have a letter written to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to rebuild the gates of the temple’s fortress, the city wall, and the home where I will live.” The king granted my requests, for the gracious hand of my God was on me.”

Rebuilding the Impossible—with God

Nehemiah prayed before he moved or asked. Sometimes we can try to fix things, right? Only problem is, we often make a bigger mess. But when Nehemiah prayed first and sought guidance from God, God opened doors. Nehemiah was sure to give God the credit. “The king granted my requests, for the gracious hand of my God was on me.”

Having a sad face in the presence of the king was a social no-no.

Sometimes when we are bold we will get a bold “no”. That does not mean to quit. That means go another way. We will see this quality in Nehemiah, as well. But this first request, Nehemiah got a big “yes”. He could leave his position and go build the wall. He would even have safe passage and all of the supplies he needed. Notice that Nehemiah was not nebulous in his request. He gave a definite time of his return and he specified exactly what he needed.

Rebuilding the Impossible—Overcoming Obstacles

It would be great in some ways if the story of Nehemiah’s rebuilding ended with a big yes and he just built the thing without a problem. But there is resistance and there are obstacles in this life that will try to keep us from the work of God. Nehemiah’s big yes was followed up by much adversity.

Sometimes we can question God about that. We think adversity is wrong and want things to be easy. But adversity can be the very thing that causes us to press in more deeply to God and ultimately God gets the glory when He overcomes the obstacles on our behalf. Don’t resent difficulties—let them shape you into the person God has called you to be. Rebuilding the impossible is possible when we see obstacles through the eyes of Jesus. Nothing is too difficult for Him.

Rebuilding the Impossible—Overcoming Disgrace

Have you had such a moment of disgrace and heartbreak, friend? If not, I pray you don’t. And yet sometimes the biggest heartbreaks of our life can turn out to be the biggest deliverance from God.

I have been there. And spent a good part of my life just hoping I would never go through something devastating. I had the drill down. When I was an unbeliever, the mindset was just to be good enough to not invite such times in my life. Definitely step over the crack on the sidewalk. Definitely don’t do anything that could bring pain into my life.

But a mindset set on a pain-free life sets you up for a let-down. Expectations for a life void of pain should not be where our hope is placed. And as a believer, I learned where my hope should be placed.

Rebuilding the Impossible—Overcoming Pain

That place when all you thought you knew about your life you didn’t—shocks you to the core. I know. I’ve been there. And pain is there with the shock and grief to try and snuff out any hope of ever being able to rebuild again. But when we look at the character of God, He doesn’t ever leave anything unfinished. Trust Him in the pain and hard places in this life. He is building and rebuilding in you will be far more beautiful than if nothing had happened at all. The places from the past that are shut off to us forever were not meant to be our destination.

Scripture of the Day: Nehemiah 2:20

“I gave them this reply, “The God of the heavens is the one who will grant us success. We, his servants, will start building, but you have no share, right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”

Don’t let problems or people intimidate you from God’s calling. Build on God’s promises and purposes and trust God to complete the work that He has begun building in you. And when we face obstacles, people against us, grief, pain and overwhelming fear, shame, or sorrow, God is enough, friends. The One Who called You will do it when we turn our circumstances into a prayer and trust God with it all.


  • Do you have shock or grief in your life right now? How are you handling it?
  • Does God have you to build or rebuild something right now?
  • What position are you in right now, friends? That position is a Kingdom position. Use it wisely for God’s purposes and not your own.
  • What bold prayer or request do you need to ask?
  • What action do you need to take, after prayer?
  • A mindset set on a pain-free life sets you up for a let-down.
  • Let’s embrace God’s promises in life’s hard places.

𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝘁 12 𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧.

Day #324: Nehemiah 1-3

𝒱𝑒𝓇𝓈𝑒 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒟𝒶𝓎: Nehemiah 2:20

“I gave them this reply, “The God of the heavens is the one who will grant us success. We, his servants, will start building, but you have no share, right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”

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