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Nehemiah 1:1 The Memoirs of Nehemiah

‘Don’t regret what you were; accept what you are becoming.’ (Augustinian monk)

It would be easy to skim over the opening words of the book of Nehemiah. After all, ‘The words of Nehemiah’ hardly match the start of most modern thrillers! But when you turn to the NLT and The Message our attention is immediately arrested: these are the memoirs of Nehemiah.

For a start memories are true. And then there is the matter of how they overlap with our own lives. Many years ago we invited Laurie Klein to share some workshops on Spiritual Journalling, first in England and then in Germany. Everyone found these sessions prophetic as well as therapeutic, and they were accompanied by a very deep sense of the Lord’s presence.

Research has shown that writing has the potential to bring a high degree of closure to traumatic episodes as well as to open up new avenues of creativity.

The Chronicler as ‘Remembrancer ‘

One of the key ‘posts’ listed in David’s administration was that of a ‘remembrancer’. (1 Chronicles 18:15 KJV) It was his job to record matters of spiritual as well as historical moment during a king’s lifetime. It is not only people who have done great exploits like Nehemiah who can write them; what the Lord is doing in all of our lives deserves to be chronicled.

Peter bent over backwards to ensure that people would remember his experience of Jesus and the truths that he taught after he himself had gone to be with Him. (2 Peter 1:12, cf 3:1) Ancient Israel may have been primarily an oral culture, but our memories are short and heavily overladen. We think we will never forget what the Lord has shown us – but if we are not careful to write these things down in a place where we can easily find them again we are highly likely to forget them.

Let’s take seriously the effort not to allow any word of God to fall to the ground!Is there someone in your fellowship who chronicles and ‘holds’ the prophecies for your group or church?

Wider Application

Try writing an account of what the Lord has been saying and doing in your life over the past few weeks. It will help to provide an accurate snapshot of where you currently are – and it may also serve to crystallise how and where He is leading you – which in turn will effect your priorities. Can you discern particular words or dominant recurring themes?

What you chart and chronicle concerning particular projects, relationships and other initiatives may even prove to be of great help and interest to other pilgrims too.

The man in linen with the writing kit at his side brought back word saying, ‘ I have done as you have commanded.’ (Ezek. 9:11)