Sunday, March 02, 2014

For Such a Time As This

As we drove home from church tonight, a tiny sliver of the bottom of the moon was showing, and the rest was slightly visible, as if it was just barely outlined.  It was present, but not in an obvious way.  There was a beauty to it, an awareness that there is more to what we see than we might think.

This morning, because we are going though "The Story" at church, the topic was Esther.  Esther, whose identity as a Jew is hidden.  Esther, who ends up in such a position as she does through various circumstances that she is able to save her people from being annihilated.  Esther, one of only two women who books of the Bible are named after.

The story of Esther, and the idea of God working behind the scenes both there and in our lives today, is almost too much to comprehend.  If Esther had not been living in Susa...if she had not listened to Mordecai's advice...if she had not been attractive to the king...if she had not found the courage to approach him...if, if, if.

I have written before that more so than any other move in my life, I have felt as though God was behind the move to where I now live.   But it also has included a lot of uncertainty and waiting, waiting, waiting, wondering why, and wondering what's next.  And it has been only recently that the path I am on has started to become more clear.  

As I listened to the sermon this morning I began to wonder...if I had not moved here...if I had not attended this church...if my husband's job didn't require moving every so often...if the seminary I wrote about last week hadn't decided to offer an all online Master of Arts...if, if, if.  

Do you see what I mean about it being too big to really comprehend how God has his hand in all of this?  In my mind, I picture a large three-dimensional puzzle with the pieces all moving around, looking for the spot in which they belong, trying different places until the right fit is found.  I think there is a puzzle to each of our lives, and yet each one is incomplete because we are all connected to each other's puzzles as well.  But in end, it will be a big, beautiful, breathtaking, creation that we can only imagine right now. 

It's not without frustrations, doubts, and fears.  When Esther hesitates about what Mordecai wants her to do, he tells her "For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father's family will perish.  Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this."  (Esther 4:13-14).  I imagine Esther was terrified. When she first approaches the king, she requests that he and Haman attend a banquet, then, once there, she requests they attend another banquet.  It seems that it takes her some time to work up the nerve to expose Haman's horrific plot.  

And life is like that.  We may experience God's calling to us as something scary and uncertain and with no knowledge of what it will bring. Sometimes we ignore it.  Sometimes we postpone it.  Sometimes we do it immediately.  Regardless of when we do it, the calling is still there, and God is still there, though sometimes barely seen, like the moon tonight.

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