I’ve been burnt a few times, haven’t you?
Several years ago we signed a contract for a company to do some work at our house. The work performed was way below the quality we expected but we had agreed on a price so we paid the bill. Burnt! The phrase; “I got burned on that deal” is one we use when we expect one thing but receive the opposite. My experience mentioned above is minimal when compared to relationships people have that turn sour. Broken marriage vows, jobs lost, careers cut short or altered, expectations not met; these episodes catalog the stories of burnt people.
Nehemiah used the “burnt and charred stones” to fortify a city! His adversary, Sanballat, thought burnt stones were of no value for he said: “… What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?” (Nehemiah 4:2 NLT)
When we really get down to it, most of us have come through or are now experiencing the pain of being charred and burnt. Many years ago I thought that I had no future. I was told that I could no longer be an usher or perform other duties in my church. Just pain added to the pain that I was already experiencing. But Jesus, He brought restitution! He took my burnt and battered emotions and gave me brighter days. Years later I preached in three different churches of that denomination and in scores of other churches around the world.
Our Savior makes “living stones” from the burnt and charred ones thrown on the rubbish heap. Never doubt this! Jesus alone will meet us where we are, bringing healing to us. Sanballat saw the burnt rubbish of what he assumed was unusable material. Nehemiah saw the opportunity encrusted in the burnt realities of past experiences! Jesus sees our possibilities. He sees the precious glimmer of God-given value placed in us? Look for it. Nehemiah did! Then in fifty-two days the rubble of burnt stones were turned into a wall of safety.
Just imagine what God will have us doing if we fully surrendered our burnt, charred dreams and ambitions over to Him. Why wait?
“The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized during the lifetime of the opportunity.” Leonard Ravenhill
Shifting Towards the Richer Side of Life!