Nehemiah Goes to Washington

Written By: Jenny Stricklin
In case we needed a reminder that our nation is in distress,
the events of January 6th sounded the alarm of anguish.

The walls are broken down. There’s fire at the gates.
One quick look at the news exposes profound trouble and overwhelming disgrace.

What do we do with such terrible news?
How should this grip us and grieve us and compel us to move?

Nehemiah stood in a similar place.
He’d just learned Jerusalem was in utter disarray.

Disturbed and disrupted, he put everything on hold.
He didn’t change the channel or look away. Jerusalem’s heartache became his own.

Tears and prayers poured out of his broken heart
as he stood on God’s promises and remembered His word.
Confessing and repenting on behalf of his nation.
He pleaded with God in hopeful desperation.

Then setting aside cravings and resisting desire,
his longing turned heavenward as he fasted for revival.

His fast was not about suffering for God.
This fast was about contending for his suffering world.

When the world isn’t right. When the nation’s undone.
Fasting moves the heart of God. And God makes Kingdom come.

And if we struggle to feel, if our hearts don’t ache,
surrendering to this purposeful pain just might be the way
that God breaks us and humbles us and aligns our hearts with His.
So that He can begin to restore and even use us to rebuild.

So feel and fast. And fast to feel.
As deeply disordered hearts are reflected on Capitol Hill.
Feel and fast. And fast to feel.
Let our brokenness and repentance pave the way for God to heal.
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