“…Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and the burned ones at that?”
— Nehemiah 4:2

Sometimes our lives become heaps of rubbish. What was once a beautiful, pristine wall of our own making turns into a pile of burned bricks of our own doing.

One of our worship leaders bravely, openly and vulnerably shared his failure with the c|Life congregation during his and his wife’s video testimony at the end of yesterday’s service. There were too many tears to count as we all sat and took it in. There were too many burned stones scattered about. Mine were among them.

We listened to how a church leader, a man of God, ignored his wall of protection. We listened to how he let his guard down and aided in destroying the wall meant to protect God’s provisions for him and to honor him as one set apart for the Lord. Then we heard how God remained faithful, yet required — and continues to require — very hard work to rebuild in his name.

Some of us were contemplating destroying our walls when we stopped to hear their story. Some of us were in the middle of destroying our walls when we paused to listen. Some of us were in the middle of picking up still warm, charred, scattered rocks when we broke to cry with them.

When Nehemiah and his people set out to rebuild the wall destroyed by the Chaldeans, they worked together side by side for 52 days, with spears in hand and guards posted. They protected their work and they protected each other from those who would prevent the rebuilding of this wall for God’s people.

May we, as the body of Christ, come together to fortify each other’s walls and rebuild them when necessary, using our stories to warn of pitfalls that can so easily lead us away from God’s perfect goodness and his holy grace. May we be the welcoming party with soot-covered hands for those who are seeking the Lord’s face.

May we never forget God’s unending mercy and grace poured out over us through his Son, Jesus Christ, so that we may be his masons, diligently working for the rest of our days.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
— 1Peter 2:4-5