For Such a Time As This

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A few weeks ago, I studied the book of Esther. As inspiring as it was, I haven’t been able to articulate my thoughts around this story until now (I hope). I have spent the last few weeks not being able to get this one line out of my brain and provide context to it.

Esther was a beautiful, young Jewish woman who was made Queen of Persia at a time where the Jews were being exiled. However Esther kept her nationality a secret in order to save her life.

Haman, the most powerful officer, became angry at Esther’s uncle, Mordecai  because he refused to show him respect. It wasn’t enough to just try to hurt Mordecai, Haman was going to destroy all of the Jews.

When Mordecai heard of this news, he tore his clothes and wore burlap which was a sign of mourning during these times. Esther sent him new clothes but he refused so she ordered her attendant to see what was going on. Mordecai asked her to talk to the king and help fix the situation but Esther was nervous to do so as she didn’t want to expose herself and die. But it was in her uncle’s response which really hit home for me and has stayed on my mind:

“Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed.  If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this“-Esther 4:13-14.

Who knows if you were made for such a time as this…… is the question that has played over and over in my head.

What I love about this response is the fact of how relevant it is today. So many people are angry of the times we are in. There’s so much outrage about our new leadership and various causes/initiatives but there’s still so many remaining quiet. So many who have been content in their positions. There are so many people called towards helping in the fight against human trafficking, poverty, financial literacy and the list goes and on and on….but they are quiet.

Could it be that if we encouraged those, who perhaps were made for a time like this, to rise to the occasion that they could help bring about solutions to these problems? Or could it be that if we stood up for those causes that we could actually help make a difference? Or maybe it could be that if we supported our rising leaders that we could have strong, confident candidates one day?

Could it be?

I don’t know what  cause or leadership role, you’ve been called towards but I do know that people are waiting for you to stop worrying about what standing up would mean to you and began to think about what not standing up will mean to others.

I encourage you to rest in this verse this week. Truly take it to the feet of Jesus. You may need to be like Esther and have some believers praying and fasting on your behalf. But it is my desire for people to walk in their purpose and truly live the lives they are called towards. Could it be that you have been made for such a time as this?

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God Bless the U.S.A.

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As we gear up for Election Day, I think it is important to pray for our nation. For the last few weeks, we’ve take a moment to do this in church but it is so important to do this at home as well. The person who is to be President will be, but all we can do is vote and pray. Regardless of your political views, it is important to be prayerful and confident in knowing that whomever it is, will be a part of God’s plan. It doesn’t matter if you agree with the results, it matters that we pray that the leader of our country can receive the covering of us Christians praying for him/her.

I always struggle with election years because the differences in opinions tend to bring out the worst in people and ultimately produce a divide because of it. Political topics run all through social media and memes are created as soon as a debate ends. People are arguing throughout status updates and there are commercials every few minutes attacking opponents. It just gets ugly and very dark during these times. But it doesn’t change the importance of our responsibility to vote. If you have the opportunity to vote, devote the time to do so. It is our civic duty to make our voice heard especially in such a controversial election.

How does God feel when his children can’t come together because of their differences in views?  Everyone says it is “socially unacceptable” to talk about politics and religion but why? I don’t understand how adults can’t disagree and still remain respectful. You don’t have to like my views on certain topics but I pray that you are comfortable to address your views while still respecting mine.

The greatest commandment is for us to love the Lord our God and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:29-31). My hope is that we can remember these commandments as we power through these next few weeks. It is all about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. You can have strong opinions but don’t tear each other down to try to convince others. You can speak your truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

I encourage you to pray for our nation and the leaders. Let’s not put all of our focus on who the leader should be because God will work it out. But let’s take a moment to pray for the strength and wisdom of our next leader. May God cover and protect him/her during such a pivotal time in our nation. God bless the U.S.A.