WILLINGLY OFFERED

Today's devotion from Nehemiah 11.

Historically, the city of Jerusalem was beyond valuable. It was in incredibly important city in the region as well as to the Israelites in general. However, at this moment is a somewhat difficult place to be. It needed residents because it needed defending. I don't know about you, but I typically want to live where I am safe and able to provide for my family, not where I can't farm and face possible attack.

Chapter 11 states that the leaders lived in Jerusalem. It was their duty and responsibility to secure this central city. Yet, they were not enough to sufficiently hold it. Others would have to move into the city. As was the tradition of the Israelites, they cast lots to determine God's will in the matter. Some, "willingly offered to live in Jerusalem." (vs. 2) The decision to do so caused the people to bless them.

Throughout the entire account of Nehemiah, the people have been challenged to see a bigger picture. What God was doing in their midst was much larger than them in that moment. He was moving to reestablish the holy city. The walls they were building would secure the place where Jesus would teach. The roads they sured up would be tread by Him as He traveled amid throngs of followers. God's plan was larger than they could have even dreamed.

When isn't God doing something larger than what we think possible? When isn't God meeting us in some seemingly small moment to accomplish something exponentially bigger? And in every one, we have to both trust Him and offer ourselves to be part of His larger vision. Perhaps we don't get as clear a vision in our own lives as we do in the lives of these Israelites attempting to resettle Jerusalem, but that doesn't make it any less true or significant.

Today, trust that God is at work in unfathomable ways, and be willing to offer yourself, your comfort, and your very life to aiding Him in accomplishing it. It may be difficult in the moment, but this "light momentary affliction" will be forgotten in the beauty of His eternal work.