You know those moments when you are waiting for news? Or, the times when you finally receive a reply in the mail, and you are reading down the page looking for the line that revels the point of the news? Sometimes the answer is not what you wanted or expected to hear. How do you react to bad news?
Nehemiah 1:2-4 That Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great distress and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
Great distress, reproach, walls broken down, gates burned; these all sound like total devastation, and must have been devastating news to Nehemiah. He turned to God in the middle of his disappointment. Oh, he cried. As a matter of fact, he cried first. He even mourned. But, he fasted and prayed as well. Crying and mourning may seem to come natural in times of distress. But, fasting and prayer are often the last things to come to mind. I wonder what the world would be like if we prayed first? Would we cry less?
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