So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid.
~ Nehemiah 2:2
“Jenny, you do not look well. I think you should go see the doctor.” These are the words I heard from my husband one day. The reason he was concerned is because the year prior, something was wrong with me. I did not look well, but did not realize the seriousness of it all until I was put in the hospital for ten days. I was indeed, gravely ill.
This time however, I was uncertain. I knew that I was not really feeling up to par, but could not put my finger on the reason for the lack of energy, dark circles under my eyes, and the pale skin. So, I went to the doctor. He ran several blood tests which came out perfect. There was nothing physically wrong with me.
When I found out that I was fine, I realized, this is the face of sorrow. I was grieving over the loss of a loved one, but did not realize that grief could be seen on my face. Eventually, color came back to my cheeks, the dark circles faded, and my energy revived. The Lord had heard my prayers, and knew my grief, so with time He had given me the comfort that was needed.
Nehemiah went to serve King Artaxerxes as he had done many time before. He was the king’s cupbearer. The king immediately saw that something was wrong. Maybe Nehemiah looked pale with dark circles under his eyes. The king realized that Nehemiah was not physically sick, but was sick at heart.
Nehemiah was grieving for his people. Israel was in Babylonian captivity, and the survivors that fled the captivity, were living in the horrible ruins of the once beautiful, Jerusalem. Nehemiah cried, fasted, and poured his heart out to God, confessing the sins of the children of Israel, and requested a new beginning for the nation of Israel. God heard his prayers.
The king gave Nehemiah permission to go to Jerusalem and help rebuild the city. Not only did the king give him a leave, but also supplied materials for the rebuilding, gave Nehemiah a letter of authorization so that he could travel there without being detained, and sent along with him, captains of the army, and cavalry. The beginning of the rebuilding process finally got underway.
Right now in your life, you may have sadness of the heart. Your face, and body show the grief you bear. You may feel that you are living in the ruins of your once beautiful life. Just like Nehemiah, pour out your heart to God, through His Son, Jesus. He will hear your prayers just like He heard Nehemiah’s.
God gave Nehemiah the charge of rebuilding the wall and the burned-down gates of the city. God can, and will help you rebuild your life from within, bringing you healing of your broken spirit. Never give up hope. Ask God to supply the hope you need to make it through your circumstance.
Cling to Him with the last shred of trust that you have. Eventually, the color will come back to your cheeks, and you will walk with your head held a little higher. God loves you, and He promises to dry all our tears. He is the one who provides the comfort you need, to change your face of sorrow, to one of pure joy.
Dear Lord, Thank you for the comfort you supply to those who are grieving. I lift them up to you. Amen
~ Jenny Calvert