As I reflect on the more than eleven years that I have written Transitions by The Book, I have tried to write about the experiences of our family and how God has been present in our everyday lives throughout the entire journey. Even when we don’t necessarily “see” God as work, He is there – fully present in our lives although it may be difficult to see at the time.
In fact, hindsight in these kinds of matters is much easier than trying to acknowledge the presence of God in the moments of our lives. It is easy for me to look to the past and clearly see many of the times in my life that God has directed my steps toward an outcome that is consistent with His will for my life. Please don’t be confused by this – I believe that God gives us free will so that we do make our own choices, present in our lives each and every day.
When I review my life with Janet, our children and grandchildren, as well as my seminary experiences and how my career has progressed throughout the decades, I can’t help by “see” the “hand” of God all over us. In a way, that’s even odd to say as we as humans don’t even know if God has actual hands or not. Maybe it’s just that the Holy Spirit enlightens us when we are committed to walking with God.
Sometimes, we live our best lives without even hearing the name of God out load. In fact, there are 66 books in the Bible and did you know that one of them never even mentions God? Yet His “fingerprints” are present throughout the entire 10 chapters of the book of Esther.
Esther is the story of a Jewish girl who, through an undoubtedly divinely orchestrated sequence of events, becomes the Queen. Not only that, but she takes chances and stretches beyond her comfort zone after fasting and praying in unison with the other Jewish people of Susa. Ultimately, she is the earthly agent through which her people are delivered from certain death and, once again, we can see the fingerprints of God throughout her entire story. Each year the Jewish people still remember the story of Ruth during their celebration of Purim.
Sometimes, we wonder why this book, that doesn’t even mention God, is included in the Canon of Scripture. But I think that it helps us to see God at work in more obscure ways than we see in the Gospels, other New Testament books and, of course, Genesis and the rest of the Old Testament. When we read about Moses, the apostles and other well known biblical figures who walked with God throughout their lives, it is easy to see how they depended on God and how God, or in the New Testament, Jesus, was very present and active in their earthly lives.
Today, after the ascension of Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for believers, we don’t necessarily “see” the strong evidences of God’s activity in our lives. Sometimes, it’s more like the book of Esther. God is present throughout all the pages of the story, but never mentioned by name. That’s one of the compelling reasons that I started writing Transitions. To highlight the involvement of God in our daily lives – whether actually named or not.
Each of us is here for a specific purpose – divinely inspired and for which we were created. God doesn’t waste anything and each of us is uniquely qualified to complete some God ordained task. That very concept comes into play within the pages of Esther. Our verse for tonight highlights the words that Esther’s relation, Mordecai, speaks to her before her appearance before the king.
We are told, in Esther 4:14, “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. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”
My encouragement tonight is that each of us are blessed when we are at the time and place to achieve something great for God. My prayer is that we stay mindful of these opportunities and do everything we can to recognize the presence of God. After all, whether you see it or not, His fingerprints are all over our lives. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…