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VERSE: I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. NEHEMIAH 2:12

The woman had been noticing a trend, and her heart was burdened by it. Single parents from an economically challenged neighborhoods would drop their children off at church on Sunday mornings and leave. Some in the congregation were offended—“The church isn’t a babysitting service,” they would say—but she saw it as an opportunity. The kids needed God, and by investing attention in them in Sunday school, the church would also have an avenue into the lives of the parents. This was not an intrusion; it was an open invitation from God.

The woman prayed for guidance and courage to speak up at a meeting where this issue was being discussed. She felt that God spoke to her: “My child, you are doing what is right in my sight, but those who are offended need to be reminded of the truth about me and my love for them. My desire is to show them through you that I am interested in their lives and that I care about their well-being.”

I want you to imagine that you are a pastor of a church. You have been asked by a woman to expand your Sunday school program to meet the specific needs of her children and their families.

You agree and ask her to develop a plan for it. At first, she is intimidated by the task, but then she is inspired by God's call on her life. She grabs hold of the vision and runs with it. God put this burden in her heart for a reason: She is the one he was calling to intervene!

Nehemiah affirmed before moving to Jerusalem, God puts His purposes into the hearts of His people. He gives a sense of mission and calling to those who can take the lead in meeting the needs around them. We may think our burdens are for others to fulfill, and others may certainly be involved. But our burdens are usually the prompting of the Holy Spirit —not for someone else to do something about the problem, but for us to address it ourselves. Where there’s a strong vision to fulfill a Kingdom-oriented purpose, the Spirit has been speaking. And no matter how intimidated we may feel, we’re to begin walking in that direction and follow as the Spirit leads.


Holy Spirit, help me sort out the burdens in my heart. Are they all Yours? Which ones should I follow? Lead me to fulfill the purposes You have placed within me. Clarify my vision and secure my steps. Lead me through open doors to accomplish Your Kingdom mission wherever I can.

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