Thursday, October 20, 2016
For such a time as this, conclusion
What an awesome study this has been! I hope you have been blessed by it; I have learned so much myself!
Today we are concluding our look at the book of Esther, and we'll focus on our main character . . .
With the help of her uncle, who was really a step-dad to her (wowser, that is a lesson right there, is it not? How many of us or our friends are step-parents.....what an awesome responsibility that is, and here is evidence that love and instruction can make a huge difference in young people's lives!) .....
I got off track there, didn't I?
OK, back to my thought -- with Mordecai's help, Esther understood that God had placed her in a position to make a difference. She was able to model extreme courage for those of us who could use an example when our faith is teetering on the edge of I-don't-think-I-can-do-that. Esther bravely did something that could have caused her own death.
I guess that one of the greatest lessons from this story is that God has placed EACH ONE OF US in positions where we can influence others for good. We are never, ever insignificant. He has put all of us where we can make a difference. We are in our families for a particular reason. We are in our neighborhoods for a specific reason. We are in our churches and schools for God's purposes. We are to be salt and light; we are to influence lives; we are to communicate Christ's love to our fellow employees where we work. No one else can do exactly the same job that we can do. There is a God-given purpose for our lives, and He placed us there for a very important reason. We might not see it now. But God never does things by accident!
We may grumble sometimes about our job. We may complain about our school, or mumble under our breath about things at church. Sometimes we should -- maybe there is something constructive that needs to happen after we complain!
So let's not carp so much that we miss out on opportunities to do His work. Behind each and every circumstance in our lives is a greater purpose than what we can see right now. Perhaps we are on a committee at school or at church. It's not easy to stand up and speak, but our input may be just what is needed! Maybe we are waiting at the oil change place, or at a doctor's office. Is there an opportunity to speak up for God when you hear or engage in a conversation?
Sometimes I think that God has placed us where we are, not simply to read a magazine while we wait, or listen to a conversation and not say a word for Him. Perhaps the people around us have been placed in our lives for such a time as this. Utter a silent prayer for guidance and then take a holy risk. Watch what God can do with our lives! Of course, we may not see the fruits of our risk-taking, at least not until heaven. We never know what long-term effect our words and prayers will have.
Did you notice something in this book?
Even though we can see evidence of God's presence behind the scenes, His name is not mentioned in the book of Esther. He is not visible, but He is working His will . . . . He brought Esther to Persia, and made her grow up to be a lovely and personable young woman who would win the "beauty pageant." He placed her as queen, and placed Mordecai in just the right spot to overhear the plot to assassinate the king. He may even have used Esther's cooking to keep the king up at night so he'd hear the story of Mordecai saving his life! And he made sure that Haman was in the palace at the right moment, so that Mordecai would be honored.
Perhaps we need to focus on looking for God's leading each day. If we expect to see Him at work in our lives, we will be surprised at how many times we will have the opportunity to serve Him! There are no "coincidences" with God, and our lives are filled with divine appointments, not accidents.
What does He have planned for you and for me, today?