Many praise Nehemiah in the bible for being an inspiring leader because he had the chutzpah for asking the intimidating King of Persia to send him to Jerusalem, a city besieged and destroyed earlier by the Babylonians, to rebuild. While Nehemiah did lead the way with the rebuilding of the city, it was his broken heart over what was happening in his ancestral home that paved the way to his eventual leadership.
When upon hearing the news, he wept, he prayed, he fasted for four long months until the opportunity arose when he could tell the king what was on his heart. During this time of humbly seeking God, it was revealed to him that it was HE who God wanted to send to Jerusalem and lead others in the rebuilding! Probably feeling unequipped, he knew he would need to wholly rely on God to help him with this new responsibility.
While we often think that true leaders are those with extensive education, a vast network, and strong communication skills, that is not always the case. Nehemiah was a servant in the king’s household, a cupbearer
. He was not someone who would fit into today’s description of a leader.
You may have a yearning to do something “big” but feel that being a young student, “just a mom” or a low-level employee in a corporation isn’t in any way an opportunity to make a difference in this crazy world. But there you are wrong, Sweet Friend! You are in the exact spot
where God can use you! Don’t worry about whether you have enough accomplishments, education, money, resources or status. God doesn’t look there — He looks at your heart.
“Many naturally gifted leaders exist, but those who lead out of
a sheer necessity have a zeal that can’t be quenched …
we can’t underestimate the power that pours forth from a broken heart.”*
Though you may not have abilities as someone else, if there is something that is pounding on your heart, a strong desire to make something happen or to help others, let it drive you. Approach God and share your heart. Allow Him time to work out the details. Then let the adventure begin.