“During the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign,
I was serving the king his wine.
I had never before appeared sad in his presence.
So the king asked me, “Why are you looking so sad?
You don’t look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled.
Then I was terrified…”
Nehemiah seems like a man with excellent character. Professional, humble, respectful and pleasant. One who knew how to serve well. Maybe this was why he was asked to come into the king’s presence and serve him wine.
But on this day, Nehemiah was troubled. The king noticed and cared enough to ask him why.
Nehemiah was terrified.
Considering Nehemiah’s character and why he must have been chosen in the first place, I don’t think he was only terrified of the king killing him. I think he was disappointed with himself for bringing personal drama to work, to the person he served.
Have you ever experienced a waiter or flight attendant bringing their personal drama into their interaction with customers? It taints the whole experience.
We remember those people who serve us well.
All of us serve others. Because God created the people we serve, and because God has called us to be servants, we are to bring our best character to those we serve.