We all have things on our to-do list that seem overwhelming or difficult. We can also have times when even simple things seem overwhelming because of how we feel in the moment. In Ezra 9 and 10, we see Ezra praying and crying because Israel had broken some of God’s instructions at the time. He spends some time mourning the situation, before someone called Shekaniah tells him to get up and fix the situation. This moment is a great reminder that, when the time comes, it’s our responsibility to do the same – rise up and fulfil the task at hand. It’s okay to have moments where we feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, our relationship with God involves ‘weeping and lying face down on the ground’ like we see in Ezra 10:1 (NLT). God wants our honesty, and that means that He makes space for us to share our feelings with Him. But once that’s done, He calls us to dust ourselves off and carry on with our responsibility. This is made much easier with support. Doing the difficult thing, working through feeling overwhelmed, is much easier with good people behind us. Shekaniah’s instructions to Ezra in chapter 10:4 read: ‘Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it’ (NIV). How precious and encouraging are the words ‘we will support you’? When God gives us a responsibility, He equips us for it. So with the right kind of people around us, reminding us of the supernatural courage we’re given, we can rise up and get the job done.
Can you be someone’s Shekaniah today? Look for someone who needs some encouragement to get something done. Tell them that you will support them to make it happen. Ask what they need and work with them to fulfil their task.
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