Wow, did it rain! It was mid-September during elk season. Ominous storm clouds had been passing overhead for days. We could feel the weather changing, almost like it was about to unleash a beast of a storm. My hunting partner Tony and I stayed optimistic and hoped for the best. The elk hunting that week was outstanding, and we had so much fun camping and enjoying the time in God’s creation. We tried to ignore the possibility of the elements bringing our hunting to a soggy end. That positive outlook landed us underneath a plastic tarp as our makeshift tent. We watched the rain crash to earth in sheets, as if God Himself was trying to put out a fire. Our tarp hung over us, keeping us somewhat dry. I suddenly looked to my left and saw a small trickle of water running through the middle of our living quarters. In moments, the trickle grew into a stream. We both realized that if we did not step outside and begin digging a water barrier around our tent, we would be sleeping in the mud.
Like crazed madmen, we dug some trenches and built up a few small berms to divert the water. Temporarily, we avoided the crisis, jumped back under the tarp and out of the downpour.
In these last few weeks the Lord has had me in the book of Nehemiah. If you haven’t before, I encourage you to go read the story from the Bible. Nehemiah had heard that the beloved city of Jerusalem had been destroyed. He wept at this news. Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem in an effort to rebuild the walls and gates that had been torn down and burned. One night, he got on a donkey and rode around the city to assess the damage. Everywhere he looked, he saw the iconic city of his people in ruins. He immediately began to lead the people in a process of physically rebuilding, and more importantly, spiritually rebuilding as well.
Reading the story of Nehemiah and thinking back to that cold wet day under the tarp, I think of the work it takes to keep the less desirable things from our lives. Like that water in our tent or the invading enemies of Israel, both sought a path in. We had to implement preventative measures to survive.
I have been challenged this week to evaluate my own life, and ask, “Do I have water running in?” Do I have places in my life that are not shored up? When assessing the spiritual walls of my life, do I have any that are down, exposing me to evil spiritual forces? I challenge you do the same evaluation. Follow in Nehemiah’s steps and assess the health of your spiritual walls. They will keep you safe and secure from the attacks of the evil one.