The three primary areas that are hitting me in my life right now are Fear, Waiting and Misplaced Responsibility. I think I'll just tackle the fear part tonight.
Esther's situation as the Jewish Queen of Persia, in the midst of a plot by a wicked man (who comes from a long line of Jew-haters), who is determined to exterminate the race to which she belongs, brings into stark relief the issue of fear. Imagine receiving word that in eleven months, you and all your family would be butchered by your enemies. ELEVEN MONTHS. Eleven months to think about it, ponder it, have the fear roil in your belly, consume your mind, and shatter your world. That's on the street level.
On the royal level, Esther is told by Mordecai she must go to the king, uninvited, and plead the case for her people.
“Yeah, right, Uncle. I could loose my head over this. And did I mention, I haven't seen him in a MONTH?”
Her uncle informs her that if she doesn't go, deliverance will come from elsewhere, but in the process she and her family will loose their lives.
Well, long story short, she decides to do it. She fasts for three days, then dresses in her royal robes and heads for the King's throne room – and doesn't loose her head.
But what about those three days? No food. No water. Extreme fast. Fear for her life. For the lives of her people. Gut-wrenching fear. But somehow, during those three days, she comes to a place of action. She must have overcome her fear to the point that she could move. What happened?
Beth brings out an amazing option, one which the Lord has drilled into me in the subsequent weeks.
What if she came to the place that she could say, “If he kills me, he kills me. God is still God.” Whoa. If the worst that can happen, happens, God is still God. GOD.
Now there is no mention of God in the whole of the book of Esther. But His fingerprints are all over it anyway. Always are. But knowing that Esther was raised a Jew, she knew the God of her fathers. It had to play into her thinking.
So, I had a few sleepless nights recently. The Lord brought to my mind this issue of dealing with fear. Now, I am not a naturally fearful person. I don't lie awake thinking of all the awful things that might happen to me or my loved ones. But on these nights, God was taking me on a journey to teach me something of Himself. He asked me some “what if” questions. What if you couldn't see? Or hear? Or both? Would I still be God? Wow. What if no one wanted to talk to you anymore? What if your husband and kids didn't like you? What if? Would I still be God?
Well, I had to go there with Him. No choice. So I did. And it was kind of amazing. I realized in the midst that, yes, He would still be God. I would still be His. And He would meet me there, no matter what. And in that place there is PEACE. Peace.
So, with Esther, I have come to a place of being able - right now - to say, “If the worst happens........then GOD.”
“If I perish, I perish.”