Today’s Scripture: And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.  Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. Nehemiah 2:1-4

Did you ever get to know someone, and were surprised to find out that despite their grumpy attitude, they were a born-again child of God? Too many Christians walk around looking like they should have a “Beware of the Dog” sign. This was not the case with Nehemiah.

Nehemiah had a reputation for being joyful. Keep in mind that he was a captive slave, taken from his homeland and forced to work in a foreign country. This is proof that Christians can have, and should have, joy even in the midst of tragedy. Despite the hardship, Nehemiah had never been before the king with a sad countenance.

Even though Nehemiah tried to hide his sadness, it was obvious to the king, and he asked Nehemiah to tell him what was wrong. This is another great lesson from Nehemiah – have a plan of action. If you really care, and you’re praying to God, be ready for God to use you in amazing ways.

Nehemiah had a plan – he had figured out what was needed to resolve the situation in Jerusalem. He didn’t just pray, “Lord, send someone to build the wall.” He prepared a plan to get the job done.

Is there something in life that bothers you? If there isn’t, maybe there should be. Each day, countless numbers of people pass into an eternity separated from God. Does this bother you? Do you have a plan to reach your neighbor, the kids in your neighborhood, or the worker at the market? If not, ask God to help you to be like Nehemiah, and get prepared.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.