“REMEMBER ME, O MY GOD.”
Samuel Kuo — Hillsborough, New Jersey, USA
Unlike Abraham, he never heard the
voice of God. Unlike Daniel, he never saw any visions nor witnessed prophetic
dreams. Unlike Moses, he was never in the company of his God face to face. And
unlike Elijah and Elisha, he never touched the dead so as to raise them.
Apart from having a heart to serve
God, Nehemiah had only a small collection of experiences of God’s providence
throughout his life mission. It was never anything as clear-cut and awesome as
in the cases of the saints of old—never a grand vision, never a splendid,
Nevertheless, his heart fueled him
to do great things for God: he lead the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in
fifty-two days, he suffered ridicule and harassment from neighboring
foreigners, he fought injustice among the congregation, he reestablished God’s
law, and he labored without end to keep the purity of his people.
It was through bitter tears that
he served. It was through thick and
thin, disappointment and grief, anger and rebuke, barely peppered by rare
moments of joy. It was through loving tears and toilsome labor that he loved
So Nehemiah cried, “Remember me, O
my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your
I find myself identifying a great
deal with Nehemiah. In fact, I feel as if I can identify with him much more
than with other servants recorded in the Bible.
Like Nehemiah, I have never heard
the voice of God, never saw visions, never witnessed prophetic dreams, nor was
I ever called by angels “greatly
beloved” (cf. Dan 9:22). I have never beheld God face to face, nor have I
resurrected the dead.
But like Nehemiah and much of the
church congregation, I just try to do my best.
Nehemiah’s cry is the cry of the
God-loving Christians. They are your typical servants, who dutifully do what
they are assigned, who are faithful to His dear cause. It is the cry of those
who “know” that God is with them but don’t necessarily feel it every day.
It is the cry of those who have
never seen those wonderful visions, who have never dreamt those dreams, who
have never really experienced a great miracle during their period of service.
It is the cry of those of us who aren’t really sure if God works through us or
not—who really aren’t sure if we have done well.
Day in and day out, though we
pray, though we read the Bible, though our every intention is for the good of
God’s business, though at points in our lives we feel close to Him, though we
are moved every now and then, and though we serve Him continually, we are often
unsure of where we stand in the presence of God.
And so our hearts utter the same
Not that believers who have had
these wonderful experiences have better faiths; neither do servants who have
had these wonderful experiences escape from going through periods of wavering
In addition, not that we have been
short-changed by God, for indeed, His grace is sufficient for us (cf. 2 Cor
12:9). But just that on the surface, it does seem that those servants—whether
in the long past or in the present—are just that much closer and surer
of God’s abidance and favor.
“Remember me, O my God!” (Neh 13:31)
It is a cry of uncertainty; a cry
of yearning; a cry, not for the remembrance of the work we’ve accomplished but
for the most important remembrance and recognition—to be pleasing in God’s sight.
Let us serve God with our totality as Nehemiah did—through the pains
and through the tears.
May we be remembered by God in the
same manner He remembered Nehemiah. May we be a sweet-smelling aroma in His
presence (cf. Eph 5:2).
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. (Ps 19:14)