Devotionals: "God, Strengthen my Hands"

 Nehemiah 6:9  They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”

Since I was a young girl I’ve been a little paranoid. You’re gonna judge me for this, but I believe that it is part of my DNA.  Coming from my ancestors who were slaves who never knew the day they would face death from lashes and beatings to my father who was an immigrant who had to move a certain way to avoid getting arrested and deported, to myself. I never knew if I would be judged at my job for wearing my hair a certain way or speaking differently. Paranoia stuck beside me. 

I've been working on this fearful and paranoid emotion and was beginning to feel okay after being in therapy and taking it one day at a time. Then at the end of last month, I woke up to the death of Kirsnick Khari Ball, also known as Takeoff from the Migos,  two days before my Birthday. The popular quiet and laid-back member who didn't feel a way when people said he got left off of "Bad and Boujee" was shot and killed at a bowling alley on November 1 in Texas. He was an artist that I admired and was only 28 years old.  That day I quickly got off of social media and started praying. I couldn’t believe it . Another innocent life was taken away from the enemy.

In addition to this tragedy, the news never helped me with this trait. As much as I tried (and try), to tune, it made me feel anxious.  God has been constantly reminding me of the scriptures below when I experience these feelings. Another story that he recently brought to my attention was that of Nehemiah. 

Philippians 4:6 6”Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 

In the book of Nehemiah , chapter 1,  Nehemiah is working as a cupbearer to the King in the citadel of Susa  when he questions one of his brothers and other men who have come in from Judah about the Jews who have survived the exile in Jerusalem. The men inform Nehemiah that the Jews are not doing well and that the walls of Jerusalem have  been broken down and the gates have been burned with fire. Hearing the news, Nehemiah cries and prays to God. He also fasts. He then asks God to give him favor in the eyes of the King to allow him to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls, and God grants him his request.

As the book continues on, Nehemiah and the Israelites begin to rebuild the walls, and from chapter 3 to chapter 6, the officials of the city try to put fear in him, mocking  him, making up lies, and telling him to come to meet with them so they can harm him. They do not want him to rebuild the wall. After five times of declining their request to meet,  Nehemiah prays to God and asks God to “Strengthen his hands”. At the end of chapter 6, Nehemiah and the Jews finish the building of the walls. 

Today friends and family, I encourage you to pray the prayer Nehemiah prayed “Now strengthen my hands" when you are feeling afraid.  God has encouraged me to do so, and I wanted to share this with you. This world can be scary, and our enemies can be scary, but God is bigger and stronger than anything evil in this world. Believe.

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Be Encouraged,