“So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height…” (Nehemiah 4:6).
The halfway point of any work for God is a dangerous place. Nehemiah and the people who had a mind to work got to their halfway point rather quickly. But for them to complete the wall of Jerusalem in only fifty-two days they would need to get past the danger of halfway.
I believe halfway is a dangerous place. When we are halfway through a project, halfway through raising a child, halfway into a church revitalization, we are in a precarious spot. It is at this moment we need the Spirit of God to enliven us for the forward task. If not, we might become complacent, stuck, or full of dread.
Halfway is dangerous because of sloth. A sense of accomplishment can begin to overcome us. We look back and realize how far we’ve come. “Good job,” we tell ourselves. But then our feeling of accomplishment turns into deception. We begin to believe the job is done. But the child has not yet been raised. The church has not yet felt revival. The mission is not yet accomplished. In our deception, however, sloth enters in. The progress we’ve experienced is in danger.
Halfway is dangerous because of discouragement. A forward glance points to the obvious — there is much work still to be done. We process the amount of work in front of us, remembering how hard it was to come this far. Discouragement seeps in, filling our hearts with dread. The trials and pains and sweat of the future work are too much to bear. Mistakenly, we feel the second half of the job must be done in a day. It does not. Step by step, day by day, the work will get done. Let not your heart be discouraged.
Halfway is dangerous because of fatigue. At the beginning of the work, your energy level was high. Your gas tank was topped off, and your were rearing to go. But not at the halfway point. The journey has been long. You are tired. It would be so easy to quit here, but we must press on.
I believe we too often quit the work too early. We get halfway, feel we’ve hit our ceiling, and move on. But the more we persist in Christ’s work for us, the more we’ll watch Him get that wall to one hundred percent. Like Nehemiah, we will dance and sing on the thing God has built, but only if we push through halfway.