Talk to Ezra. For 15 years his adversaries shut down his work.
Think about that. What has happened in your life in the past 15 years?
Here’s my short list. I have:
- Gone from being a young mom surrounded by “littles” to being a mom of many teenagers.
- Added three countries to my passport, including Ukraine, the home country of our youngest daughter.
- Weathered a church split, church closure, and a rapid departure from a church we loved, but realized that there was no longer vision alignment.
- Transitioned from homeschooling mom to working mom.
- And logged numerous trips to the ER causing me to want to install a zipline straight from our house to the nearest Urgent Care.
What has happened in your life in the past 15 years?
God gave a clear directive to Ezra. He used Cyrus, the king of Persia, to mobilize the Israelites. Ezra, Nehemiah, and Co. were to head back to Jerusalem, basically with a royal blank check, and rebuild the temple.
But when the adversaries couldn’t Trojan Horse their way in, they went for a frontal attack. The result? 15 years of apparent stagnation.
Ezra, Nehemiah, and Co. knew they were doing the right thing, the right way, with the right heart. And still God allowed the adversary to throw a wrench in the plans.
Can you relate? Are there dreams, directives even, that God has given you, but circumstances have stalled you out? Maybe a Trojan Horse attack. Or a full-out frontal assault. And you wonder, “Did I hear God?”
Much happens in 15 years. Babies grow up. Friendships change. We switch jobs, move, and face more challenges than we would ever have dreamed we could endure.
My encouragement to you and to me this morning is simply this. Stay the course. Stay close to God. Stay in his Word. Cultivate relationships that point you to him. Take care of yourself. Love well. Take just the next step remembering that most often God gives us as footlamp, not a floodlight.
Much happens in 15 years. Stay the course.
They finished their building by decree of the God of Israel and by decree of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia; 15 and this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. Ezra 6:14-15