There is an old Irish benediction that contains the words, “And may the wind always be at your back.” If you have ever done any sailing that phrase needs no explanation. There’s nothing more exhilarating than to be on the water and have a strong prevailing wind at your back with its full force filling out your sails – pushing you fast and forward through the waves.
It’s exciting. It’s also a wonderful way to live. But life, as you know, isn’t always like that. The wind isn’t always at our back. At times the wind blows in our face. That’s a completely different experience. It’s a whole lot less fun when the winds of opposition threaten to push you back towards the jagged rocks of defeat, despair and discouragement.
Some of you reading this know exactly how that feels. For any number of different reasons the prevailing winds are against you. For some, perhaps, it’s been that way for a long time and you don’t feel like fighting it anymore. You just want to give up and go back.
In the fourth chapter of the O.T. book of Nehemiah we meet some people who felt the same way. Even before they could lay the first brick to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem the winds of what would become fierce opposition began to blow.
So what will our hero, Nehemiah, do to lead the community out of their despair and get the job done? That’s what we’re going to find out this week. See you on Sunday.