Our Monday night bible study is studying “Esther” by Beth Moore. This past week we were discussing the amazing courage Esther had when faced with the decision to hide out in her safe room in the palace, while the Jews were condemned to death by Haman, or risk her life asking her husband, King Xerxes to share a meal with her, in hopes of saving her people.
Somehow, Esther decides to risk everything to save the Jews in her town. She says in Esther 4:16, “And if I perish, I perish.”
We all know the story turns out with a happy ending; justice is served to the evil Haman, and Esther saves her people through her intelligent plan and by winning the favor of Xerxes.
Yet, Esther didn’t know how the end would turn out when she trusted God to do the right thing. She fasted from food and water for three days in preparation for taking the risk of her life. She trembled, sweat, lost sleep, and felt the deep pangs of hunger as she struggled with the reality before her–honestly, in complete fear that when she approached the king without being invited, it would be some of the last steps of her life.
It is what we experience when we feel out of control. When we can’t write the outcome of our story, it causes anxiety. When we see difficulty looming in our future. The unknown is downright scary, so we grasp for control. This is how Beth puts it in perspective:
“Our conditional trust positions us as negotiators and beggars before God instead of secure children.” Esther, p. 107
A wise women in our bible study put it another way:
When we fly on an airplane some of us fear crashing, so we do weird things. We may only fly on certain airlines, pick certain flight times, pray the whole flight, grip the armrests, watch the flight attendants for unusual behavior, go through our superstitious motions, hoping to somehow create a
story of landing safely. Yet the reality is….none of that matters. The outcome is the outcome–the plane is going to either land safely or not, and none of us sitting in the back wringing our hands has any influence on that. Well, maybe a little prayer helps…if, of course, landing safely is in God’s will (does that cause a gulp of anxiety to rise? Do you trust in Gods ultimate plan for you?)
“The most critical breakthrough of faith you and I could ever experience is to let God bring us to a place where we trust Him–period. We don’t just trust Him to let us avoid what we fear most. We determine to trust Him no matter what, even if our worst nightmare befalls us.” Beth Moore, Esther, p.108
I relate to the airplane analogy, because I like to be in control. I have to remember that God has a plan, and all my efforts to predict or control the outcome don’t change who God is and his will for my life. He just asks me to trust him, to trust in his goodness and his desire for the best in my life.
The more we know who God really is, the less fearful we become about where our life is going. We can rest in the knowledge that someone much more qualified is in control. We can have courage, like Esther, to do the right thing even when it makes the future uncertain.. So, when your next plane ride in life happens, literally or metaphorically, sit back, maybe just grip with one hand, and trust.