“Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.'” (Nehemiah 8:10)
We tend to think of success as a final destination, but what if we’re still a long way off from where we’d like to be?
I struggle with being content and celebrating each stage of my life, because I’m afraid that too much celebration will lead to complacency. But I have discovered that if we’re always stretching and never celebrating, we’ll eventually break. It’s a tension.
In Nehemiah chapter 6, we read that Nehemiah and the Israelites have just completed a huge task: the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. It was time to celebrate what God had done on their behalf. And the Israelites knew that if they didn’t stop and celebrate how far God had brought them, they wouldn’t have the strength to begin the next step of rebuilding the city.
You can’t sustain sacrifice without celebration.
You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to celebrate how far God has brought you. And like the Israelites, celebrating your progress along the way will bring you a sense of accomplishment, and will give you the strength to keep going.