The story of Nehemiah
The Jews were prisoners of War in Babylon until it was invaded by Persian forces.
It was decreed that they would be allowed their liberty.
So some Hebrews journeyed home, but not all.
Other Hebrews settled in Babylon, and made it their home.
Over the years, the news from Israel was grim,..little money,.. the Jews were surrounded by hostile forces.
Nehemiah knew of these difficulties, and was given permission to journey to Israel with extra supplies and support.
He inspected the City at night, alone.
The next day, he entered the City and began to organise.
Nehemiah saw his job as that of motivator.
He encouraged the Jews as they worked. He reassured them. He told them to believe in the City, in Jerusalem, in the future.
When I read this story, I began to think about my own life.
I had tried to rebuild my life after mental illness. But I had been unhappy, had major doubts. I also took on board the negativity of other people.
If they told me I could not overcome depression, then I believed them.
The result was I made little progress. I needed someone like Nehemiah to encourage me, but failing that, I can be my own Nehemiah.
I will encourage myself.