The final point in my sermon this week was “Communicate Everything”. During that point, I explained how Nehemiah made communication a priority during a crisis. There’s a story I wanted to share but the Lord didn’t lead me to share it at that time. So I’ve decided to share it now to emphasize the value of communicating in times of crisis.
After my mother-in-law, Pheobia Taylor, had her first round of chemotherapy, she ended up in the emergency room and was admitted to the hospital. My wife and I didn’t know anything about chemotherapy and didn’t know where to start on finding a solution. We were simply told by Mom’s general medicine doctor that her heart and kidney numbers were off. They were able to get her numbers back to normal and sent her home.
Then it happened again after her second chemotherapy and we were back at the hospital. That’s when we realized the communication was off somewhere. So I took it upon myself to be the communication hub for everyone involved. I stayed at the hospital all day, talking to every doctor and nurse. The heart, kidney, and general medicine doctors each explained to me every medicine my mother-in-law was receiving. They explained plans for long term care too. I wrote it all down and reported the information to my wife.
After the second hospital trip, I took Pheobia to follow up appointments with each doctor. During those appointments I shared with each doctor what the other doctors shared with me. I saw lightbulbs go off in the doctor’s heads as they slowly began to realize they couldn’t give her the best care operating independently.
When we met with the cancer doctor the next week, I communicated everything the other doctors told me, including prescriptions, dietary changes, and timelines for care. This communication helped the cancer doctor adjust my mother-in-law’s chemotherapy dosage and she never went to the emergency room after treatment again. Communication with everyone involved prolonged her life and ultimately improved her quality of life.
In Nehemiah’s case, he needed to create a communication plan because the builders were being threatened. So he takes on the responsibility to communicate to everyone involved in the work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Here is the passage and three tips we can learn from his example.
“Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me. Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.””
Nehemiah 4:18-20 NKJV
Nehemiah had the trumpet.
Nobody can tell your story like you. Nobody can communicate your desires and passions like you. Don’t leave communicating your intentions to others. Always try to tell your own story. Control the narrative about everything concerning you.
Nehemiah communicated with everyone.
Nehemiah communicated to everyone from the leaders and rulers, down to the laborers. Everyone helping you move through a crisis is important. Everyone needs the information you provide so they can perform at their best.
Nehemiah clarified his communication.
Freight trains have a specific horn. When you hear it, you know to move away from the train tracks. Nehemiah used the trumpet in the same manner. “Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet” your response is to rally and fight the enemy. In a crisis it is important to clearly communicate meanings and expectations to others.