December 12, 2013

The Mystery of Providence

And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14 (NIV)

It’s always easier looking back to see how God weaves the circumstances and experiences of our lives into a pattern that accomplishes His purpose.  It’s the present crisis that clouds our view of God at work behind the scenes.  That’s where faith comes to play trusting that God is at work and will complete what He has begun.  Mordecai had such faith when he challenged his cousin Esther to appeal the death sentence that had been announced on the Jews.  I love this story in the Bible!  It encourages my faith in the crisis I face in life when God seems strangely silent and distant.  In fact, this is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t even mention God’s name. Yet while the story doesn’t mention God by title, the mystery of His providence fills the pages.  God was at work behind the scenes. In faith, Mordecai challenges Esther to consider her present position with the question: “Who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?”  He had raised this young Jewish exile from mere obscurity in a foreign land to become Queen of Persia.  Mordecai was saying that perhaps this was why God had put her in this position for such a time as this!  Still, neither she nor Mordecai could possibly know the outcome.  That’s why faith is spelled R-I-S-K.  She had to be willing to put her faith into action.  We know the story.  It’s nothing short of miraculous.  For centuries the story of Esther and Mordecai would be told. They saw that God had placed them in their positions for a purpose so they seized the moment and acted.  As a result, God used them to save the Jewish race!

Just like these two Hebrew exiles, God has a purpose for you and me.  The first step to understanding God’s strange and mysterious providence in our lives is to ask ourselves the same question: “… And who knows but that you have come to (where you are) for such a time as this?” God has orchestrated the events, circumstances and time in history for your life.  He wants to accomplish His purpose through you if you will simply make yourself available to Him and be willing to take a risk.  When you face challenges in life, seek to know what God wants you to do; and then do it, confident that He will do His part.  You won’t know ahead of time how He will accomplish His will.  That’s the mystery of providence, but it’s also the adventure of faith!  Be willing to take a risk.  No reward comes without risk.  But if it is the revealed will of God, it really is no risk to obey.  The greater risk then is disobedience.  With Mordecai’s challenge came a warning for Esther, For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.”  Aren’t you glad Esther stepped up to the challenge?  What about you? Experience the mystery of providence in your life and enjoy the adventure of faith!