It was Saturday morning. The empty swing under the large oak tree in our backyard beckoned to me. The mismatched cushions were in the greenhouse because of all the rain, and as I scooped up the long seat cushion and two back pillows, I NEEDED ONE THING: assurance.
Fear of the future, discouragement over the decisions of the ‘powers that be’ weighed very heavy on my heart, as each ‘Fox Breaking News’ notification became links of a chain that kept tightening its grip.
“God, I have to hear Your voice this morning. Please speak very clearly and help me see what You see.”
“When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, He is the One who keeps its foundations firm.” Ps.75:3
When I opened His Word, the page flipped to the story of Esther, where her people were on the brink of annihilation because of a pridefully wicked man named Haman. Here was this Jewish woman that, by God’s divine plan, had become queen and now she must risk her life and boldly approach the king, which was against the law (one didn’t go into the inner courts of the king without an invitation). Esther knew the importance of fasting for God’s favor and protection because she told her uncle:
“Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”
This woman had audacious faith! She must have believed in the power of prayer by her confidence to risk it all in the face of death. And to declare, ‘If I must die, I must die’, that’s just mind blowing!
This latest ruling by the Supreme Court makes me wonder if Jesus’ words in Matthew 10 regarding the last days may be all too near for those of us in America who call Him Lord. Yet He reminds us ‘not to be afraid of those who can kill the body, but cannot touch our soul.’ The One we fear only is God, ‘who can destroy both soul and body in hell.’ vs. 28.
As I sat, swinging back and forth, birds singing out melodies of beauty, these were the words that resonated in me:
WHEN YOU KNOW MY CHARACTER, YOU HAVE NO NEED TO FEAR.
(1 John 4:18)
I AM GOD AND I DON’T CHANGE.
PEOPLE AND EVENTS DON’T MOVE ME. FAITH DOES.
(2 Chronicles 14:11)
I AM FAITHFUL TO MY WORD.
KNOW MY WORD. TO KNOW MY WORD IS TO KNOW ME.
TO KNOW ME MEANS WALKING IN THIS WAY:
“‘But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king!
Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink.
But he was just and right in all his dealings.
That is why God blessed him.
He gave justice and help to the poor and needy,
and everything went well for him.’
“Isn’t that what it means to know me?”
says the Lord.” Jeremiah 22:15-16
As the birds declare their song each day, So, too, we must sing out His truth for all to hear! Our declaration will deepen our trust in God’s greatness and power to act on our behalf because faith comes by hearing and hearing HIS WORD, not man’s.
Declaring His Word when fear grips your soul frees your faith to take wings. And because we love God, we soar by faith, pleasing Him and expecting Him to bless our lives, no matter what it will cost us.
Even as Esther counted the cost of her obedience, we will bear a cross of our own that will require us to trust our God in the midst of those who would raise their fist and defy the living God.
Let’s live like Esther, fully aware that following our Savior means sacrifice, but by committing to His will, we are confident that He has us in the palm of His hand.
Here’s to soaring,
Join me here as each of us tells His Story through our lives…