Nehemiah wept when he heard the state of Jerusalem; his home. He requested the king allow him to leave his post as the cup-bearer and return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall, the dignity, and the countenance of his people.
His prayer for favor was not for his personal gain; his heart was for his people to regain favor with the Lord again. He desired to see them safe and rebuilt, rather than vulnerable to wolves. Nehemiah saw the state of his home and the people he loved and longed for them rather than bury himself in the safety and security and prestige of his job. He was set as a cup-bearer in the king’s service. He didn’t have to leave and return to the mess of his people. Another prayer of Nehemiah’s involved asking God to forgive his people; he seeks their restoration, even when the Israelites themselves don’t seek it. Nehemiah’s heart is so softened for his people that he asks God for the king’s permission to quit his job and go back to a messy, hurting people.
How do you see your school? Do you see your peers as vulnerable to the “wolves” around them? Do you intercede on their behalf before the Lord? Do you leave the comforts of your home to share the hope of Christ with them and life them up? Do you serve them, even if it means sitting with them in their hurt or mess? Do you trust the Lord to provide ways for you to be there for them, even if it’s inconvenient or sacrificial? This is the heart of a missionary; to sacrifice for others and to love them unconditionally. This is how Christ loved us.