We are midway through this year, and being in the middle can be a difficult place to be. Grand beginnings are exciting and carry their own kind of energy and promise (hello, new year’s resolutions) and happy endings are, obviously, satisfying. The trouble is getting from one to the other. The trouble is being in the middle—when the initial excitement has long since disappeared. This is when work feels tedious, the mind and body have worn out, and progress appears minimal. The middle is when the crowd has moved on, the money has run out, unanticipated challenges have sprung up like weeds, and carrying on seems delusional. When you are in the middle, you can barely hear anything over the voices saying, “You’ll never finish,” “You’re wasting your time,” “You’re not enough.”
This Sunday, we’ll worship in the middle—and we’ll listen to the voice of Nehemiah who was called by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah knew the despair and danger of the middle, and his story will inspire and encourage us all as we find ourselves in the middle of our own journeys.