Jerusalem was in ruins. The walls of the city lay burnt and in piles of rubble. The scene was enough to bring tears to even the strongest man of God. The once great capital of the Jewish kingdom was less than a shadow of its former glory. While daunting, the physical challenges could be addressed, but the physical challenges were really the symptom of a people and a place in desperate need of spiritual restoration. The people had lived in darkness for so long that they had forgotten what it meant to live in the light. They had forgotten what it meant to live as God’s children. They had forgotten who they were.
If we are all honest, each of us has been there. Some of us may even be there right now. The great lessons we learn from our studies in Nehemiah are that truly depending on God is the only way our lives can be put back together again. No matter how far you may have fallen, you can never fall so far that God cannot bring you restoration.