Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Afternoon Tea - For Such a Time as This

"... Yet who knows whether you have
come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”"
Esther 4:14 

Not too long ago, a friend and I were chatting about world events over a cup of coffee in her kitchen.  She mentioned that she had been warned to be careful what she puts on the Internet as it could be used against her should Christians become physically persecuted in America.

I laughed and told her I'd crossed that line a very long time ago.  Back in the 1980s, my husband and I used to say if Christianity were made illegal, we wouldn't last five minutes there is so much "out there" that we had said and done.

For instance, somewhere in our memories box, there is the front section of a well known newspaper with my husband's photo right there front and center.  It was the year he was in charge of a Christian Coalition campaign for our part of the state.  That alone would seal his fate.

Esther 4:14 has been one of my "life verses" for as long as I can remember.  I held onto it when I was active in politics and Christian political organizations.  I loved the Book of Esther so much that I studied it over and over and eventually wrote a Bible Study about how it relates to our world today.  I taught that Study many times.

But here is the deal... that was when I was doing.  A lot.  Speaking.  Talking.  Teaching.  Giving out pamphlets and other Truth. The world was falling apart and both my husband and I were on the front lines to slow down the darkness overtaking the country.  I say slow down for I think it was the Founder of Concerned Women for America who said we know it could not be stopped... only slowed.

The same week my friend and I chatted about the startling moral downfall of America, I had a letter from a long time friend.  She stated in it that we are now seeing those events unfold that we were warned against decades ago.  So why are we so shocked?  But we are...

I considered her question and told my husband that I don't think shocked is the correct word.  I thought instead of the term Scripture gave to Lot's feelings... vexed.  In the second chapter of 2nd Peter, we are told that Lot was vexed in his soul with what was going on in Sodom and Gomorrah.

I am vexed.  Not taken by surprised.  Neither overwhelmed, really.  Vexed.  A good King James Version word.

Being a pondering kind of person, I thought about that a lot since then.  Health concerns and the consequences they bring keep us from the front lines of the battle. So I really hadn't read Esther 4:14 for awhile.

Until I was pondering.  Until God spoke to me in that Still Small Voice that He uses to share Truth.  "There is more to that verse, Brenda. Think about it.  Ponder it.  What does it tell you about the world in which you live today?"

Then the Truth began to dawn like the morning sun rising above the horizon.  Gently at first.  A little insight here.  A little clarity there. Then an all out blaze of Glory and Truth.

I am here for such a time as this.  You are here for such a time as this.  We are abiding in the place and in the generation for which He planned before the dawn of the Age that we live.

I used to teach that God not only positioned Esther for her place on the World's Stage.  He prepared her.  She was obviously created to be quite beautiful.  One must be to win over a pagan King.  I doubt he looks at the heart very much.  So she was probably quite stunning to look upon.  God's idea you know.

But she had to be smart and wise and discerning.  She had to be brave.  She also had to be bruised and hurt at one time.  For how did she come to live with her Uncle and not her parents?  Life had not been easy for her.  A young Jewish woman who finds herself in the harem of a pagan ruler.

She didn't know she would be Queen.  She had no idea that thousands of years later, her people... those very descendents that she saved... would celebrate the Feast of Purim.

She, along with the other Jews, were in this place against their will.  Captives in a foreign land.  This was God's Will?  Well, he tried to warn them that if they continued in their ways they would be taken captive.  They did.  They were.  Captives that is...

You know what?  He prepared you and me, too.  What we have gone through, what we experienced in our lives.  It was not there by accident.  

We are vexed in our very soul as we see the immorality taking over our beloved country.  For many of us (me and my household included), we are bewildered by the decisions of the current Administration.  They so often make no sense at all.

What will happen to my children?  To my grandchildren?  GOD!!!!

What will happen?  We pray for them daily.  We ask God for protection and wisdom and discernment and all those things we desire for those we love.  But then we remember... They were chosen for their time on the planet.  They are there, not by accident... by God's Will.

God has positioned them.  God is preparing them.  Like Esther's day, the world has turned upside down.  There are wars and rumors of wars.  There are mad men chopping off the heads of Christians throughout the Middle East to please their god.  There is terrorism on our own soil.  That which was not spoken of in genteel places has now been made the Law of the Land.

But we are not here at this time by accident.  You may be like me and no longer on the front lines of the Battle between Good and Evil.  But you are where God wants you and you can become a prayer warrior.  For that is what is needed for the next generation.  Godly praying men and women covering those on the front lines with His Word and His Protection.

You may still be in the Battle of the Ages.  You may be so close you can smell the smoke of Hades.  Stay in His Word.  Talk to Him.  Stay close to others in the Battle.  This will not be the time of the lone warrior.  Find your own Fellowship of the Ring Coming King.

Instead of ringing my hands at the state of this country and the terror in the world, Esther reminded me that as long as I have breath, I'm still in the fight.  Right. Where. He. Wants. Me.  And you.  And us.  Together.  United.

Forget our squabbles about Eschatology, how and when and why and what about His Return.  Look around you.  The battle rages.  And get excited.  And if all you can do is pray that is a whole lot.  It is the essential part of this fight, you know.

Do what He tells you to do.  If He says to deepen your pantry, stock up.  Ask Him for financial provision to do so and if that is His Voice speaking, He provides.  If He says to move.  Move.  If He tells you to stay right where you are.  Stay put. 

If the road ahead looks impossible.  Good.  That means He has placed you right where He wants you for only by clinging to Him will you walk the Path He has chosen.

What does the Word say?  When you see all this happen... look up.  Rejoice.  The battle is almost won.

As another book puts it... Aslan is on the move.

Image:  Chronicles of Narnia, the movie

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

The King comes, true...yet when, we do not know. Well written, Brenda...well written. And encouraging...it is HARD to understand so much of what many of us deal with. And everyone has their battles. Those who are supported and very loved by their nearest kin are indeed blessed. To have that in the midst of battle would help. And a friend spoke up yesterday when some things were being discussed...he said we all have a death sentence on our heads...we just don't know the dates ourselves. We were not meant to be in this life here forever...just for a period of time. That is hard to understand when we are so finite for now, isn't it? I will share your article here with others too...many are discouraged today.

Anonymous said...

Brenda, Hosea 8: "Put the trumpet to your lips!." You have spoken so much truth today. Just yesterday i was reading the scripture in Act 1:26: "From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live." Isn't that amazing--we are right where He wants us to be. He knows our name and our address and He has put us in this time. Time to draw closer to Him and pray and be a laborer in the harvest with Him, and be prepared to stand for Him by His grace--for such a time as this. Thank you for your inspired words today. Blessings, Sharon D.

Anonymous said...

Very good word! And timely too. Thank-you! My pastor has quoted that verse from Ester many times....we are here, now, not by mistake, but "for such a time as this." And we need to keep our focus on Jesus, for He is the Author and finisher of our faith!
Blessings,
Laura C.

Mrs.Rabe said...

This is my FAVORITE post, ever! Truth spoken in every line.

Such great encouragement in what you shared. I believe as you do that God places us in history right where he wants us, and our children. Thank you for the reminder of that.

Deanna

Anonymous said...

Oh Brenda,

This is so encouraging and so true! Thank you for the reminders.

Dianne L

Vee said...

Beautifully said, Brenda! Lift up your head. And how many times have I said that you have a way with words?! You said things clearly without resortiing to rough language. Your friend obviously wasn't taught that it would be a very bad thing if proof could not be found of her Christian life. =D Yes, I agree, for such a time as this. That said, I'm listening for the trump. Oh, these days,that could be taken a couple of ways. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I find more and more comfort in that verse! Our pastor has been quoting that verse almost every Sunday, lately, and I appreciate it!
-Connie

Denise said...

I love love love this post. Thank You to both You and Our precious Jesus.

Nanna Chel said...

Our pastor said that very thing the other week...Aslan is on the move! A great positive post in dark times, Brenda. Thank you.

ellen b said...

Thank you for this encouragement. Yes, I am vexed but not despairing. Good reminder that God is on the throne and we are here as He planned. I'm cracking up at Vee's trump comment. Have a great week Brenda!

Anonymous said...

Brenda, Bless you for taking the time to write such encouraging words! Like so many others I and my family are "vexed" (perfect choice of words!) by what we see. Its hard to not wonder how much worse it will get, or what it will be like for my children and grandchildren, but these words bring so much comfort. A reminder that we are here at this time by His choice and plan, for His work, and for our Good! And no matter what our circumstance we can pray, and our prayers are powerful!

Blessings always, Marsha

Ann said...

You found the word for what I've been feeling for so long now -- vexed -- my spirit in turmoil with what I see around me yet knowing God is in control and this is part of His plan for mankind. As always, you give much needed inspiration. Thank you.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I'm visiting from Vee's, who mentioned this post. My hubby and I are very vexed by what we see going on in the world today. Thank you for writing such encouraging words. I keep looking up and praying, that is all I can do.

Keri said...

Vexed....it's a perfect word for how my husband and I are feeling about these days! And I frequently need the reminder from the book of Esther. I'm so guilty of wishing I had been born in a former time in America, when most people were Christians, and sin of almost every kind wasn't flaunted and glorified. Ecclesiastes has a warning against my type of thinking, and Esther 4:14 is another verse that God frequently uses to encourage and inspire me when I'm feeling worried and fretful about our world. I especially need that reminder when I start to think about the future of my children, who - at ages 7, 8 and 11 - will be confronted with circumstances and false beliefs that they'll have to stand firm against. As you said, God chose them for this time...and this place...and He is preparing them even now. And I, as their mother, need to be 100% diligent to pray for them and to discern my part of their preparation.

Thank you, Brenda, for yet another wonderful Sunday post.

Happyone said...

Great Post!! I'm over from Vee's.

Lisa said...

Excellent time for a Bible study on the book of Daniel! We can learn a great deal from this man of God and from his uncompromised life. We are called to stand firm in our faith!

Thanks for this tremendous post Brenda!

Lisa

Melissa said...

This was such a thrilling post, I was provoked to comment for the first time. ;)

When I'm looking around at the world I am faint of heart. But when my eyes are fixed on Christ, thoughts like this rise up in me! It excites me to think that God could use me in such an unbelievable way. To be a shining star to those in darkness! For my life to be a kind of offering that can be used to point to him! For his power to be able work so mightily in me! Right where and when and how he needs.

Thank you for your prayers and boldness and encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Very nicely said, my friend. I love that verse about Esther. I think what spoke to me the most was that God has put my grandchildren here at this time for a purpose. I've never had a problem with it for me, but oh, what is ahead for my little boys? What you said gives me peace. He is in control and has a reason for all of it. I'm sure Mordecai had a hard time letting his beautiful Esther go into the king's harem!! But look what God did with it. What a wonderful and great God we serve. He is trustworthy. (Smile) Thank you! Pam (SD)

Stephanie Therese said...

"If the road ahead looks impossible. Good. That means He has placed you right where He wants you for only by clinging to Him will you walk the Path He has chosen."
This is perfect and exactly what I needed to hear right now! Thank you for this beautiful reflection and your courageous, encouraging words.

Deborah Montgomery said...

Thank you for your wise and encouraging words. It's tempting to wring our hands, so I thank you for reminding me that I can put them together and pray instead.

Anonymous said...

Ah...........! This posting is SO exciting! You are a master wordsmith indeed, using the talent God has given you to format the sights, feelings and musings you collect throughout the day so that others may be strengthened, encouraged and refreshed along the way. There is such satisfaction in reading what you choose to communicate to the flock that gathers by the blogger's chapel. Just as butter melts into a muffin, still warm from the oven, so your thoughts seep into my soul. Bless you! Cindy F.

Sue said...

Very timely and so encouraging, I agree with the other comments, wrote so beautifully. I am visiting from Vee's!
Blessings,
Sue

Anonymous said...

How absolutely perfect! Thanks so much for these words. I had never thought about current events from this perspective. I want to share this with my husband; we often wo der about the world our granchildren will grow up in. Susan Morgon