When the Jews returned from Babylon, they were surrounded by enemies. That is one reason they had struggled so much to rebuild the City.
But when Nehemiah came, he told them that they did have enemies but God would protect them.
This is an important story, as we thrive if we receive encouragement, but are disheartened if people criticise us.
Nehemiah told the Jews to believe in their goal. He told them to arm themselves, arm their servants, and to carry those weapons at all times.
If an attack did take place, then God would be with them.
I also have a similar problem. When I decided to try to defeat mental illness, I found that enemies gathered around, and all my work was sabotaged. I was gossiped about, shouted at, and treated with hostility.
I had to ‘arm myself’, learn to protect myself, and walk each day with my ‘weapons’ of intelligence and courage.
I could not trust in human nature.
I accept that I was a fool to trust people in the first place, and I have had to grow up fast.
It saddens me that this is the case, but I want to get better, even if I face opposition.
I can return to the story of Nehemiah when I need to. This story helps me, as I understand how Nehemiah gave the people courage and faith in themselves.