Today’s Reading: Esther 4:1-8:17
Ok, I promise you that I did not plan this ahead of time, the cliff hanger in the story and all. But I know who did plan it and He is so awesome to have done it this way! Today we get to all the really great parts of the story of Esther! Here her people are, slated for complete and total annihilation and everyone powerless to stop the flow of events except Esther. And there’s her surrogate father to remind her of that very fact. Esther, who knows but that you have come to such royal position for such a time as this? I think in all of history there are few phrases that live in infamy as much as “Who knows?” and “for such a time as this”. Oh, how many times in my life have those phrases echoed through the caverns of my soul filling them with possibilities. “Who knows, maybe I have bigger plans for you than you thought I did…” “Who knows, maybe I really can be ‘that good’…” or “Maybe I placed you in this uncomfortable situation for such a time as this…”.
Life is filled with uncomfortable situations, it just is, we can hem and haw about where those situations come from and why they’re there until we’re blue in the face from running around in circles chasing our tails but in the end all that really matters is the fact that life gives us uncomfortable situations and it’s up to us as to how we’re going to deal with those situations. It’s all in how we think about them and see them. Take our pre-empted plans the other day, that was certainly an uncomfortable situation, or at least it would have been if I hadn’t been having so much fun! Honestly, I was so excited about the adventure and the prospect of what God was going to do with this situation that I hardly cared about that fact that we were stuck on the side of the road! I should probably add here that part of me knew that we weren’t going to make it all the way to our pre-determined destination, but my brain wasn’t in on that information.
After we had met six-month pregnant police officer Michelle and the two State troopers, the mechanic showed up followed directly by the tow-truck driver, Petie. Now Petie was a fun fellow, beautiful are the feet that bring good news and his feet were pretty beautiful! While they didn’t bring the news of being able to fix poor Tammy’s new-to-her car (she’s only had it a month) he was the one who was fully capable of taking us to the ones who could! And THAT was good news! So we three girls, minus Tammy’s daughter who was taken on to school by the red-headed Michelle, were aided into his tall tow truck cab with a gentlemanly hand. I sat in the middle next to Petie on a florescent yellow roadside assistance jacket covering a milk crate with my daughter on my lap, while Tammy sat in the bucket seat by the window. As the gentleman walked back around to his side of the cab after helping us ladies up Tammy and I quickly prayed that God would bless him and his vehicle and everyone that rode in it after us. When we were on the way to the “car farm” (the four-year-old’s name for a car dealership) Tammy asked Petie “is there anything that we can pray for you?” And that just opened up a whole new can of worms! It just so happens that Petie the gentleman is a Christian too! For the entire 20 minute ride we three adults swapped God stories and scriptures and that Petie, I tell ya, that man spoke with such conviction that I by the time I stepped back out of his truck, again aided by his arm, I felt like I had been in the presence of Jesus! God hadn’t just sent us any old tow truck driver, He’s sent us His son of light! For the rest of my life I will never forget Michelle or Petie, they were such tremendous “God sends” that day, little touches from heaven sent in the form of two beautiful children of light simply doing their jobs. But to Tammy and I they meant the world to us!
That is such a powerful message to me. The by simply doing our God-given jobs, police officer, tow truck driver, teacher, mail man, blogger, mom, we have the opportunity to become someone else’s angel right there on the side of the road. Michelle the police officer had an obligation to stop because she’s a police officer, but she did not have the obligation to stand there by the side of the road and talk to us and make friendly for an entire hour! She could have sat in her car the entire time and listened to the radio! But she didn’t. Petie didn’t have to help us up into the cab of his truck like a gentleman, he could have let us stumble in all on our own, but he didn’t. He didn’t have to carry on a twenty minute conversation about God with us while he was driving, he could have remain stone silent and we never would have known that we all are kin. And who knows, maybe they were having bad days too until we showed up on the scene! Honestly, it’s hard to be in a bad mood when Tammy and I are around, we’re filled with the oil of gladness most of the time and we’ll bring it out in you too when given the chance. But none of that would have ever happened if we all had simply kept our mouths shut. If we had focused on the problem instead of focusing on the solution that God was unfolding right before our eyes.
To me that’s what is so beautiful about the story of Esther. While God isn’t mentioned once in the entire story you can so plainly see His hand at work through the entire thing! So many times in the story you can see His perfect timing at work, from the first feast Esther throws for the king and Haman with the evening in between to allow both men to ponder on what it is that Queen Esther is wanting. The King so curious he can’t even sleep so he gets out “the book” and reads and remembers about Mordecai and realizing that he has forgotten to honor the man who saved his life…. WOAH!
He has forgotten to honor the Man who saved his life… If that isn’t a significant sentence I don’t know what is!
Have I forgotten to honor the Man who saved my life? Does my life honor Jesus? Does the way I go through my day honor His sacrifice?
That day, Michelle and Petie honored Jesus, they honored him before they ever told us that they were Christians. They honored Him before they ever said His name. They honored Him in their smiles, in their peace-filled demeanors, and in the fulfillment of their jobs. Sure they get paid to stop and help people in their time of need, but they don’t get a paycheck for being nice while they do it. And who knows that you weren’t put in your own position for none other than such a time as this…