So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.—Nehemiah 6:15
My friend Mary and I met monthly to hold one another accountable to our goals. One of hers was to reupholster her dining room chairs before the year’s end. In November she reported her progress from October: “It took ten months and two hours to recover my chairs.” After months of finding the hard-to-get material plus carving time out of her schedule, the project took merely two hours of committed work to finish.
God called Nehemiah to a far greater project: rebuild Jerusalem’s walls (Nehemiah 2:3–5, 12). As he led the people in the labor, they experienced mockery, attacks, and temptation to sin (4:3, 8; 6:10–12). Yet God equipped them to stand resolute in their efforts—completing a daunting task in just fifty-two days.
Overcoming such challenges requires more than a personal desire or goal. In Nehemiah’s case, he knew that God appointed him to the task. His sense of purpose invigorated the people to follow his leadership.
When God charges us with a task, He gives us the skills and strength necessary to do what He asked, no matter what challenges we face.