As God’s punishment for Judah’s idolatry and rebellion, they were attacked by the Babylonians and carried away into Babylon for seventy years. After Babylon fell to the Persians, they became captives of the Persian Empire. Nehemiah, a Jew, was the cup-bearer for King Artaxerxes. One day as he poured wine for the king, he noticed Nehemiah's demeanor was sad. So the king asked him what the matter was.
Nehemiah told him he was sad because the walls of Jerusalem laid in ruins and sought permission from the king to go and rebuild the walls. The king granted him permission, men and horses to accompany him, resources and safe passage all the way to Judah! Certain people heard what Nehemiah was doing and became distressed. They put a lot of opposition and impediments in Nehemiah's way but he stayed focused on his assignment.
His detractors continued to find ways to distract Nehemiah all throughout the project. When the walls were completed and they were only left with putting doors into the gates, his greatest opposers, Sanballat and Tobiah, sent him several messages to come meet with them. Nehemiah refused. "So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner." Nehemiah 6:3-4
As we go about our day accomplishing our goals; as we go through life working, doing good, accomplishing purpose, many are the distractions we face. A lot of things battle to take our attention off what is important. Be it problems, family, friends, bosses, employees and of course social media. If we do not battle to stay focused we can go through days, weeks, months or even years and not accomplish anything worthwhile. Because Nehemiah stayed focused he managed to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in just fifty two days without modern technology.
What holds your attention and time each day as you seek to be productive? What is your greatest distraction? I pray that God will give you the grace and empower you to stay focused on what is needful!