"The joy of the Lord is your strength."
I took a ride the other day down some of the main streets and avenues of my little town. While enjoying a delicious summer day, I was struck with all the transformations of homes and businesses. Our one and only boulevard has just incorporated more small business owners and now their fronts toot a gracious grey with big black bold letter inscriptions for each facility. Further down the pike a few more newly renovated restaurants are now dotted with parking lot cars.
On my way home I witnessed several properties with new design paint and trim scenes. Luscious greens and tropical colors, careful correlated, can now be observed highlighting our neighborhood. Many have hung ornamental decorations of seascapes outside to grace their entrance ways. Little circles, carefully dug around property borders, now contain bright hues of horticulture drawing the eye in.
All this renovation takes time and must be adjusted in your schedule accordingly. I am sure it wasn't easy for the Israelites, either when they rebuilt the broken-down walls and burnt city gates of Jerusalem. I'm sure as they were in captivity in Babylon, they were never far from ear shot of the passed-down stores of the beautiful promised land. But when they finally arrived they found their beautiful city in rumbles.
But there was on man who had a vision for the city walls, Nehemiah. Within days the Israelites worked side by side to repair the wall. The third book of the book of Nehemiah lists all the workers. It reads, "next to him.. beyond him... beside him... next to him." You can just picture a line of dutiful workers working in step. Within two months after Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, the Israelites rebuilt the walls and gates. The Jews' numerous enemies shrank away in feat, "because they realized that this work had been done with the help of God.(Nehemiah 6:16).
Each place the Israelites occupied was renovated. Each time God wanted his house to be a comfortable dwelling for his people. Maybe this is our innate desire to beautify our own properties. God wants us to live in a charming setting. Sometimes work or losses in income can keep us from attaining the house of God we envision. But even small projects can be attainable by incorporating the help of those you love. By gathering all family members and giving each a task, when the scheme is finished, everyone shares a smile when they gaze upon the outcome.
What project can you undertake this week to bring a sense of joy to your household?