I used to be a news junky. I started out my day listening to WLS, segued into Rush Limbaugh, and ended up with Bill and Shawn.
My blood pressure was high-not really, but it felt like it-and I was exacerbated and dismayed almost 24/7. As if all that wasn't stressful enough, I tried to keep up with Drudge and Breitbart, too. Gosh, just writing all that down makes me feel jittery and nervous.
I gave it all up after the last presidential election. I was so hopeful for change and felt like my "people" had let me down by making me think there was a chance that things would change in the White House. I drew a line in the sand, and I dropped all my news-watching cold turkey.
And guess what? I became a much happier person. I quit worrying about things in the world that I could not change or control and the mess continued without me weighing in or even knowing. I lived in La La Land for almost 2 years and it was a fine and joyful place.
I started listening to more and more Christian radio and discovered Chris Fabry Live and In the Market with Janet Parshall. Both of these shows are on WMBI out of Chicago and enabled me to lift the covers slightly to see what was happening in the world, only this time through a Christian perspective.
It was the news, but the news with HOPE.
Fast forward to this week, when I started studying Nehemiah. If you aren't familiar with the story, I'll give a quick summary of the first two chapters. Many years before the events in this book, the Israelite nation was overtaken by the enemy. Exiles and prisoners were taken away and Israel was ransacked and Jerusalem practically destroyed. God worked things out as He often does, and Nehemiah, a Jew, ended up being the cupbearer to the King. After many years, some of the exiles were allowed to return to their homeland, but conditions were horrible.
When Nehemiah got word from his brother about the destruction and troubles there, he didn't react the way I have been the last few years.
Nehemiah didn't bury his head in the sand.
Nehemiah didn't cover his ears and sing a happy song.
Nehemiah didn't feel bad for a milli-second and then continue with his cushy job with the king.
NO WAY. Nehemiah wept, mourned, fasted, confessed his own sins and the sins of his people, and he PRAYED. For 4 months. And when the time was right, he did the hard thing and did it afraid. He asked the king for permission and returned home to do something about it.
He quit talking, quit complaining, and did the work!
It is wrong for me to be ignorant of what is going on with my brothers and sisters around the world. I don't need to focus on the bad or on conventional wisdom for solving problems. I do need to let my heart be broken for the broken and hurting in this world.
I need to Pray.
And then DO WHAT I CAN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
If you are also doing the Nehemiah study with She Reads Truth, please share with me what you are learning. I know we could all benefit if you would.