Over the past few weeks, Nehemiah 3 has been heavy on my heart. For some reason this image of the exiled Israelite community rebuilding the ruined wall around their city seems very connected to the work that is happening on campus at UT. I think it's the communal nature of the project. In Nehemiah 3, the names of over 40 men that worked on the wall are listed, from priests to perfume makers to goldsmiths to rulers. Each of them had a section of the wall to rebuild. I take incredible comfort from the fact that none of us are called to labor for redemption and reparation alone. Simultaneously, I am challenged by the way Jesus is calling each of us to find our own section of the wall to labor over. Every single one of us who is connected to the ministry of InterVarsity at UT has a part to play in seeing brokenness repaired and wounds healed, from staff and volunteers to students to prayer partners and supporters. We are all called to build something on this campus together.
This is comforting because following God’s call on your life, particularly through leadership, can be lonely. But when Nehemiah led the Israelite community back to Jerusalem he didn’t bear the burden of the task on his own shoulders, or even elect a few superior wall builders for it. In the same way we need to recognize that we are not building a ministry at UT alone, and the burden of all 7,500 students coming to know Jesus doesn’t rest with just one or two of us. We are a part of a network, a community, a city- and we are laboring next to one another. God hasn’t just chosen a few of us; He has called each one of us to find our place at the wall.
The challenge, then, is just that: finding your spot at the wall and picking up the work. For every student at UT that is leading a small group, that is your section of the wall. The athletes, the men, the women, the artists, the ROTC students. This is your section of the wall to labor over. And I would encourage everyone who is connected to the ministry of InterVarsity at UT in any way to take some time in this next month to ask God what your section of the wall is. How is God specifically calling you to work towards seeing His people redeemed and renewed at UT?
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age- old foundations; you will be called the Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” Isaiah 58:12.
“In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22
We could be anybody.