I’ve been somewhat quieted, in the mad mix of a pause and a wrestle because I have everything to say and nothing to say, shouting silently. You may be in the same exhausting place – I talk with too many who are.
For how long now, we’ve been collectively dealing with pandemics and politics, racism and riots, disaster and destruction. And then individually, we’re dealing with the things taking place in our own space. Everybody has reason to lament it seems . . .
So we need to encourage one another, but it’s been a challenge to connect or hug at arm’s length. Some find it easier to hide in their zen-den and say they don’t want to hear anything negative – cover it up with a fake fine and a holy hashtag so they don’t have to notice. Or the opposite, when everyone is on defense and in petty mode. And I’m tired. Neither posture helps us or anyone else . . .
I’ve lived long and experienced more than enough life to prove the sovereignty and goodness of a mighty God who has a purposeful plan when everything appears wrecked and wicked. And so, for such a time as this we are studying the book of Esther in our Precept class. If I’m honest, I didn’t want to read about queens and crowns at this moment. I wanted to read about strategy and peace. But, there it is in this small book of the Bible that does not mention God once, yet His divine rule is over and in-between every line as it reveals her surrender and boldness. It tells the story of a real (not fictional) Jewish orphan who became a real Persian queen who was put in a royal position to plead with the king for deliverance of her people.
I’m sitting in the same place, pleading before my King on behalf of my people . . .
Esther’s story is so much more than what we first see, because it’s ours. It tells our rags to royal story, not overlooking the negative. A story of being born (and born again) for the right time and place in our personal history to make a difference. I think of where I was when Kennedy was shot, when Malcolm and Martin walked with followers, when the 911 towers came tumbling down with lives. I didn’t read about it in an altered history book, I lived it. And it brings me right here, right now – for such a time as then is for such a time as now. Because we find our now faith in our then faith . . .
Our experiences make us who we are so we can make a difference for someone else. Being the Esther of today, we can boldly believe instead of trying to make sense of God’s will and purpose for this time in history because we can’t understand sovereignty.
Church, we’re called to a crucial role in sharing grace and justice and not grow content and comfortable by streaming a scattered church. Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in our own personal kingdom in this selfish moment, but we’ll miss the courageous steps toward what we’ve been called to for such a time as now.
My prayer for each one – that we finish well in 2020 – that we learned well and believed well to finish with gratitude and wonder that this time of the year brings ~ and may we do it together . . .
And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this. Esther 4:14