I wanted to post this entry last night, but I was too tired. Ironically, I lay awake for HOURS last night, thinking about the Beth Moore video I watched last night plus a thousand other things, mostly trivial. Needless to say, I'm beyond exhausted after working all day, but I'm not taking any chances. I'm going to post my entry so I won't lose another night's sleep.
I've been cramming to catch up my missed Bible studies from vacation. Last night I watched the video for last week, and there was something that really spoke to me. Maybe you'll relate also....
When Queen Esther risked her life to approach her husband, Xerxes, he spared her life and told her to make her request--up to "half the kingdom." Her request was that he and his second-in-command, Haman, attend a banquet with her that day. (Esther 5:1-4)
At that banquet, Xerxes again offered Esther "up to half the kingdom." But she just asked him and Haman to attend another banquet the next day. (Esther 5:5-7)
If we had been there, we probably would have wondered, "What on earth are you waiting for, Esther? Just tell him already!" The Bible doesn't tell us why she hesitated. Did she have an attack of nerves? Did she feel sick from too much wine on an empty stomach--after all that fasting? Or did she feel something telling her, "Not yet, Esther. Just wait."?
That night, Esther surely must have tossed and turned on her bed, and she wasn't thinking of trivial things. She must have wondered how she'd make it through yet another dinner across the table from Haman, the evil, murderous enemy of her people. She must have wondered what she could possibly say to Xerxes to get him to reverse the edict for the annihilation of the Jews.
If she was like most women, she was probably feeling responsible for all the men in her life: King Xerxes, Uncle Mordecai, and the detestable Haman. She might have wondered how on earth she was going to take care of all these problems.
The thing is, she really wasn't responsible for everyone. That wasn't her job. All she had to do was obey God, one step at a time. She didn't have to understand why. She didn't have to know the whole plan. She didn't have to figure it out. Though she couldn't see it, God was at work right then, taking care of every detail according to his perfect plan.
The Reversal of Fortunes
It turns out that Esther wasn't the only person who couldn't sleep that night. Xerxes was up because, as the Hebrew translation explains it, "The Lord took sleep from the king that night." To pass the time, Xerxes had the chronicles of his reign read to him, and he learned that he had neglected to honor Mordecai for foiling an assassination plot against him.
So it was that when Haman came in to arrange Mordecai's demise on the gallows he'd just had built for him, King Xerxes asked him, "What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?"
Haman, thinking there could be no one else the king would delight to honor more than himself, gave very elaborate suggestions: The man should be arrayed in a robe that the king had worn, and should be led through the city on a horse the king had ridden, and a noble should proclaim, "This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor." (Esther 5:6-9).
Now, get this! This is the most delicious irony I've ever read anywhere: The king said, "Go at once. Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew...."
Don't you wish we could have seen Haman's face as he led his archenemy through the city and proclaimed that the king delighted to honor him? Beth told us maybe God has a "video" of all events in history, and when we get to heaven we can watch the events unfold. I hope she's right.
So Fire Yourself!
I really took this lesson to heart. It is so like me to be crippled with anxiety, feeling responsible for everything and everyone in my little world. Guess what? It's not my job! God has it all under control, and if I just obey him one step at a time, he has the most delightful reversals of fortune planned for me.
How about you? Are you butting in where you have no business? If so, I'll pass on some advice from Beth: "Fire yourself!"