Four months to respond. If it took my kids that long to obey, they'd be grounded for a very long time. Yet, that's the distance from Nehemiah 1:1 to 2:1. In that time, God's servant sensed a calling to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls. But, it took a while for him to actually pack his bags and head west. Four months.
I sat outside this morning, studying my Bible and noticed this interesting delay. Then, Jenna joined me and we had a brief conversation about "impulse purchases"--the temptation to buy last-minute mints, batteries and tabloids at the checkout counter. I counseled her about the value of waiting. Wisdom is born out of the time spent to make good decisions.
Perhaps this explains Nehemiah's delay. He could have immediately saddled up the royal camels and followed his heart to his homeland. Instead, he waited--perhaps to confirm God's direction, perhaps to complete his commitments, perhaps to gather his resources or perhaps to simply let any residue of self-serving impulsivity evaporate. Whatever the reason, his waiting seemed to be the right thing to do.
When God calls, I don't want to delay in doing what I know I should do. Still, I don't want to foolishly move forward without taking time to pray, seek godly counsel, gather my resources, and exercise wisdom. In the end, the time between Kislev and Nisan may just be what enables me to not only do God's will, but do it well.