For some odd reason my dogs have begun the habit of waking me up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. It is a pain, who wants to wake up in the middle of the night, yet I am grateful they are indeed potty trained and wake me up before going inside. So I do not complain. I love them and they are worth the inconvenience. I am prioritizing there needs over my sleep. Why. Because I love them. It is a small sacrifice.
As I read through the book of Nehemiah I see many lessons on priorities and sacrifice. Nehemiah was given the task of rebuilding Gods temple. We find that the Israelites rebuilt Gods temple before rebuilding their own homes. They prioritized Gods house over their own. After rebuilding the temple Nehemiah read God’s law given to Moses. The people weeped. Nehemiah responded….
Nehemiah 8:9-17 NIV
 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep .” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.  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.”  The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”  Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.  On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the teacher to give attention to the words of the Law.  They found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month  and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: “Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make temporary shelters”—as it is written.  So the people went out and brought back branches and built themselves temporary shelters on their own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of God and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate of Ephraim.  The whole company that had returned from exile built temporary shelters and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great. …
The people made temporary housing of olive branches. At first reading this, it seems odd. Why did they make a tent of branches. But there is much symbolism as the olive branch is a symbol of hope and reconciliation. Jesus is referred to as the olive branch. They covered themselves and made shelter to symbolize their reconciliation with God. Quite beautiful indeed.
When you evaluate your own priorities is God first? Or do you need to do some rearranging? God is always waiting and yearning to reconcile with his children.