...running the course God sets before us, no matter the cost, no matter the task, to the end, for His glory

Friday, March 9, 2012

While You Were Sleeping

Maybe the reason people flock to healing services or miracle shows is because we desire to see God work.

It would have been so great to be at the Red Sea.
Egyptian chariots racing toward us.
Pillar of fire in between us and them.
And then....SEE IT HAPPEN!
The Red Sea parting!

A miracle.
The supernatural.
God at work.
There would just be no other explanation.

But sometimes God doesn't work His miracles right in front of us.

In fact, most of the time, God is working His work without us even recognizing Him. Only later, after everything is settled, do we see the outline of His hand.

There is only one problem with that scenario.
That sort of freaks out us control freaks! We like to know what is happening and put our 2 cents in! I mean..."you might need my help God. I would be happy to help. I just LOVE to help. In fact, I have some GREAT ideas, if You need some that is. But, maybe....since You are God....You might not need any?"

I have been enjoying the Beth Moore Bible Study on Esther the past few months.
And I have been learning lots of lessons. Lots.

But this past week....it really struck me....God doesn't need me.
Okay, I already knew that.

But back to this Bible Study and to this time I am learning this important lesson. AGAIN.

The book of Esther consists of a fascinating series of events over many years. (There is at least 8 years from the first verse of chapter 1 to the moment of "The Dinner" in Esther 7.) When you realize how many years come between the event of Xerxes getting rid on one queen, finding another queen, and eventually ignoring that queen and condemning God's people to destruction, you realize that what is obvious to us in the retelling of the story, might not have been so obvious to those who were living the day to day life...even if that life was lived in the palace in Babylon. It must not have been until much later that they looked back and so clearly saw the tracing of His hand.

So here are our characters:
We have King Xerxes. What a guy. Besides all of his other "good work" he manages to squeeze in allowing God's people to be condemned to death.

And we have Haman, the evil man planning out that destruction.

And we have Esther (the former Hadassah) who is stuck in the castle, and while it was a miracle that she ever got there at all, the life of "Cinderella" is not always what it is cracked up to be. She must have wondered why in the world she was there at all.

And then we have her uncle, Mordecai, who sends her word- "You have to go to the king to save our people. Maybe THIS is the reason you are here in the first place!" (this is my loose interpretation!) Of course, for her to go to the king un-beckoned meant possible death!

So everyone fasts and prays for three days. And then Esther goes to the king. And then the King and evil Haman come to dinner. And then everyone goes home without the big "reveal" happening.

Wait a minute. Esther was DOING what she was supposed to do, at peril of her own life I might add. And when her big moment comes...nothing.

But here is the real kicker.

The BIG moment...
the pivot point of the whole story happens....

...while everybody is ASLEEP!

Except for the king that is. The King- well God providentially keeps him awake so he can just happen to remember the great service Esther's uncle had bestowed on him years earlier that, by the by, is completely unrelated to what is happening now. And THAT is the singular event that sets in motion the beginning of the end for the bad guy and the beginning of the beginning of the salvation of God's people.

Wait a minute! While Esther was sleeping??!!?

See what I mean? God didn't NEED her. He let her be a part of the story. He USED her faithfulness. He even used her name in the title of the book.

Maybe it was her name in the title that threw me.
I thought the story was about what ESTHER HAD DONE.
But no. It is about WHAT GOD HAD DONE!

And that is all my life is about as well.
It is not about me or what I get or where I go or who I love or who loves me.
It is not about what I have or what I don't have.
It is not about where I live.
It is not about me at all.

And it is most certainly NOT about what I have done, am doing, or will do.

It is all God.
It is about God.
It is for God.
It is through God.
It is because of God.

And it is all done BY God.

Whew. What a relief. Even for this control freak.

I think I will just go to bed now. Who knows what God will do while I am sleeping!

It worked for Esther!

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