The book of Esther in the Old Testament is a book of how God works in what can be the worse of situations. If you are familiar with Esther, you know that there is no mention of God’s name throughout the story. Yet, it is a beautiful example of how God intervenes and can use even the worse of situations to His glory.
When I attended the Walk to Emmaus in 1994, I sat at the table of Esther. Looking back, I now realize the significance of being placed at that particular table for the weekend. My Emmaus experience was a time learning how God can use experiences in my life for His glory. It was a weekend of letting go and letting God so that I could be a better servant for God and see God at work in every aspect and experience life brought me. I learned how every experience in my life good or bad could be used for the Glory of God.
In recent days, it seems like each time the news comes on that there is devastation, hurt and tragedy. As one watches these events unfold, one could easily ask ‘where is God in all fo this?” But, as stories unfold and people step up to share, you can see God is at work even in the midst of such devastation. He is at work through the volunteers who come to help those in trouble, He is at work through those who are sending supplies, and He is at work through those people who simply pray for those affected by the devastation. Then, as time goes on, testimonies of faith and a witness of God’s provisions, protection and His grace come out and are shared. These testimonies demonstrate that God is ever so present. Lives are changed not just from what they may have lost or gone through but they are changed from what they have gained through their faith and walk with God. Just like the Jews during the time of Esther felt that God had abandoned them. Yet, as the story unfolds they experience God’s great love and see His hand at work. By the end of the story, God’s children once again have the victory!
Along with the natural disasters that have taken place in recent weeks, our family received devastating news. Our son’s best friend from high school who was serving our country with great pride became missing. He was state side and swimming with a friend in the ocean when he got caught in a rip tide and could not swim out. Being in the Navy, he was trained better than anyone of how to survive in such a situation. Whew! The wind really got knocked out of us on this bit of news.
As I questioned God “Why?”, things began to happen and unfold. The first thing to happen was a new friendship was formed. A friend of this gentleman messaged me and asked what had happened. She had seen things posted on Facebook but had not heard what had happened. She was to meet him over the weekend for coffee. She and I began to correspond and through this correspondence I see a beautiful young lady who has a love for life and others. Through tragedy, a new friendship was formed. Then, I received a beautiful note from this young man’s brother. He shared so beautifully the true meaning of brotherly love, what it meant to stay strong because that is what his brother would want. This brother even went on to say how it is hard to understand what has happened that we have to keep living, loving each other and know in God’s time we will see His answers to it all. Along with the new friendship formed and these words so well written by this young man’s brother, I have seen comment after comment, thought after thought of how this missing brother/son has loved life and those placed in his path. I read how he saw potential in people and how he encouraged them to rise to that potential. Again, just as in Esther, God is at work though we may feel He is absent. Faith is being made even stronger and realization of the importance of loving others becomes even more clearer to the mind and heart.
Sometimes when things happen in life such as the things I have shared, it is hard to want to give God praise and glory. We just want to crawl in a hole and make the world go away. Or, we just keep telling ourselves that we will wake up from this bad dream sometime soon! But, the reality of the situation is still there and always will be. As Christians, we have to be conscious and seek His blessings in ALL that life brings. A while back, I participated in Beth Moore‘s study on Esther. In this study, she shares this thought “God can reverse every negative element in His child’s life and turn it into the positive. He just doesn’t just diffuse the circumstance. He transfuses it.”
In the days ahead, when something happens and you question God, remember God has not abandoned you. He is there and probably doing His best work in the midst of all that is taking place. In the end of it all, there is victory!! Furthermore, believe it or not, as the song goes, “In His Time; He makes ALL things beautiful” and we become all the stronger on our faith journey with Him.
He’s Going To Be Fine
- Come, Holy Spirit (barefootpreachr.org)