A Word with You - Mar. 24, 2011

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What to Wear Today

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When our kids were living at home I couldn't believe people actually paid to go to the circus. We had a circus right there! It was free - a three-ring circus. Now the most exciting issue was usually, "What am I going to wear today?" And then that cry by various experiments with different combinations until some outfit finally looks right. Does that sound familiar? Of course it's always punctuated by these discussions of who's wearing whose shirt, or whose pants, or whatever. Actually, whether you go to school or to work, what to wear is kind of a challenging choice. Unless of course you're one of the lucky ones; you just wear a uniform. You don't have any decision to make; somebody else made it for you. You have to consider the weather, and what season it is, and what mood you're in, and what people you're going to see, and do the colors match, which is hopeless for me. Well, in the process, you might overlook the one item you have to wear to school or to work every day.

Now, there's some intriguing detail in the biblical saga of Nehemiah. You may remember he's the man that led the Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem in 52 days after they'd been away for 100 years. Now, he was cup bearer to the king, and that king by the way was the King of Persia. He was quite a ways from where he needed to end up in Jerusalem. But Nehemiah had a tremendous burden on his heart. And he had a desire to tell the king his burden, but he wasn't sure how to open the conversation.

Well, in our word for today from the Word of God, which is in Nehemiah chapter 2, beginning in verse 1, it's interesting to see how the king actually initiates the discussion. And it ends with him giving Nehemiah everything he needs for this rebuilding project. And you know why the king initiated it? Because Nehemiah didn't wear to work what he usually did.

Here's our word for today. "When wine was brought for the king, I took the wine..." - Nehemiah is speaking here - "...and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before. So the king asked me, 'Why does your face look so sad when you're not ill? This could be nothing but sadness of heart.' Well, I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, 'May the king live forever. Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire.' And the king said to me, 'What is it you want?'"

Well, the rest is history. From there it was the rebuilding of the wall of God's city. In essence the king is saying, "Nehemiah, where's your smile? You always wear it to work. Where is it today?" Nehemiah was known for his positive attitude on the job - his joy, his smile. So much so that it was an event for Nehemiah not to be smiling at work. Now, for many of us it would be an event that we were smiling when we're in the middle of our daily responsibilities.

But if you're a Christian, you get your joy from your invironment, not your environment; from Christ inside you. No one should ever ask you, "Hey, how come you're so happy today?" Like it's unusual? That should be routine. Maybe they might ask you why you're so down today, because that would be unusual. Most of us just plod mechanically through our school day, our work day, our household responsibilities. Sometimes we're like expressionless drones. And often we're complaining and whining like everybody else.

But consider Nehemiah's working wardrobe - a predictable smile, a contagious joy, and a consistent positiveness in the midst of daily drudgery. In our world, that is an attention getter, and that wardrobe is always in style.

Wear joy to your work place every day. You'll knock 'em dead!

© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.

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