Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Right Place at the Right Time

Nehemiah 1:11- "For I was the king's cupbearer."

I remember the first (and only) time I got paid to play basketball. I was 10 years old and playing in a YMCA basketball league. As we were leaving the gym one day, something on the floor to my left caught my eye- it was a crumpled piece of paper that looked a lot like money. I stopped and picked it up, unfolded it and to my surprise it was a $100 bill. My dad and I went back inside the gym and talked to one of the officials about it. They made an announcement asking if anyone had lost some money. When no one stepped forward, the official looked at me and said, "I guess you can keep it." I was smiling from ear to ear! Do you know how many Nintendo games that could buy?

Sometimes we just find ourselves in the right place at the right time. But not every place and time is pleasant like finding a $100 bill. Nehemiah was such a man whose circumstances (and this is putting it lightly) were unpleasant. His nation felt like it was crumbling. His people had lost their identity. They were "in great affliction and reproach," the walls of their city (Jerusalem) were broken down "and the gates thereof [were] burned with fire" (Neh. 1:3). Not exactly a crumpled up $100 bill, wouldn't you say?

But Nehemiah realized a great truth about his circumstances: "For I was the king's cupbearer" (Neh. 1:11). Huh? Come on, Nehmiah, what does that have to do with your nation, your family, your city and your heritage? Actually, everything. The cupbearer to the king was usually a trusted confidant of the king. He was responsible for testing the king's wine for poison by putting his life on the line and drinking it first. Because of this, no one was more trusted by the king than his cupbearer. The cupbearer was a position of privilege. He was given access to the king who could do something about having Jerusalem's walls rebuilt. Nehemiah realized that he was in the right place at the right time to do something to change his family and nation's situation.

The same is true for me. "For I am the husband to Leslie. I am the dad to Luke, Noah and Adam. I am the spiritual leader of my family. I am the pastor of Berean Baptist Church. I am the friend to...I am the co-worker of...I am the neighbor to..." God has palced me in these places to rebuild what is broken down.

The same truth applies to you. God placed Nehemiah as the cupbearer to the king because he wanted Nehemiah to do something about the broken down walls of Jerusalem. God has placed you in your position to do something about the broken down areas of your life.

What areas of your life are broken down? Do you know someone else whose life is crumbling? God has placed you in the right place at the right time to do something about it. So fill in the blank with all of your positions and relationships: "For I am _____________ (husband/wife, father/mother, friend, neighbor, son/daughter , etc.) to _______________."

Realize that you are in the position you're in to do something about the broken down areas of your life. Your circumstances are no accident. God has put you in the right place at the right time to rebuild the broken areas of your life. As Nehemiah did, admit your responsibility for the areas where you have failed and call out to God in complete surrender. He can use you to rebuild.

Be blessed. Arise and build.

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