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Thinking About Nehemiah and You

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I play guitar, but I am no Eric Clapton (Chet Atkins if you prefer country). I can hammer out a tune on the piano but don’t look for me on stage in a Van Cliburn competition. Similarly, I can squeak out a song on the clarinet and keep the beat on a drum set, but I don’t expect to ever make a living at it. I’d go belly up quick. What I find interesting in my years of making music is the number of times people have said to me, “I want to play the guitar – I would love to play the piano.” Friends of mine, family members and people I don’t even know have approached me after a performance talking about how much they enjoy music and would love to play an instrument. The truth is, most just kinda want to. They like the idea of playing but lack resolve, ultimately tossing in the towel and giving up. In fact, stats show 80% percent of beginning piano students will drop out, the number one reason being not enough time to practice – at least that is the common excuse. Here’s the deal, people who are resolute, men and women who are committed to a project don’t quit, they stay the course not just taking, but making the time necessary. They do what is needed to accomplish their goals even should that mean doing things not on their Favorites List. Like hours of practice each week instead of television and having to wait for callouses to form on your fingertips so that the guitar strings won’t hurt. Learning to play an instrument wasn’t Nehemiah’s goal but achieving God’s purpose for Israel was. There would be ladders to climb (physical and spiritual) and hurdles to jump. He knew it wasn't going to be a smooth ride down Easy Street, but he was resolute, fully committed to doing what it takes in obedient faith. He knew a sovereign God who had proved himself time and again would do it again. Nehemiah rested not in his ability but God’s sovereignty. Golf legend, Arnold Palmer, once said, “I never quit trying. I never felt that I didn't have a chance to win.” No truer words can be said by those who choose to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. There are no losers in Christ, only winners, and we can rest in the confidence of Paul declaring, “…we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37) knowing a sovereign God is at the helm forging the road ahead. Don’t quit Believer, believe you’re almost there.