I’ve been exposed to many different Christian authors and theologians (some professional, some amateur and some amateur who thought they were professional), and an equal number of different thoughts on how God works in our lives.
Our pastor on Sunday
preached taught on the book of Esther. What struck me the most about the lesson was realizing that nowhere in the Bible (or in the sermon) did it seem that God’s purpose in Esther’s circumstances were about Esther. God hadn’t identified some characteristic in Esther that needed refining and he didn’t therefore create a situation and stick Esther in it to bring that refining about.
See, it wasn’t about Esther.
It was about a plan . . . God’s plan . . . for his Chosen People, the Jews. The King had given an order to annihilate the Jews in his kingdom, and Esther used her position with the King to boldly plead for the lives of her people.
Esther’s Uncle said this in instructing her on how to save the Jews: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14.
He didn’t insist God was using these circumstances to do this and that in her life.
See, he knew this wasn’t about Esther.
Did God work together all the details so the right person (Esther) would be in the right place (the palace) at the right time?
Was her character refined as God gave her the strength and the courage to plead for her people?
But it wasn’t about Esther.
It was about God’s plan for His people.
Somewhere along the line, I’ve been taught that God puts us in situations to refine us; and that thought has given me strength through some difficult trials. But I’m not sure it’s true. I can’t think of any story in the Bible that specifically teaches that. God does refine us when we put our faith and hope in Him, but He puts us in the circumstances we are in for His purposes towards His plans. It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than you, it’s bigger than Esther, Job, David, Daniel, Mary, Elizabeth, John, Abraham, Issac, Eli, Samuel, Abigail.
I’ve heard people talk about children with special needs, that that child was given to that family to teach them patience, mercy, compassion, you fill in the blank.
Would God do that, give a child to a family for the purposes of refining that family?
I submit that God has a plan bigger than that mother, that family; and the life of a child, special needs or not, is about so much more than just one person or even a family.
We may be refined, we may be strengthened, we may be humbled by the things God puts in our lives; but God’s plan never stops with us.
There was one child who God had no plan for other than to save his family from their selfishness, pride and moral bankruptcy.
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, God with us.” – Matthew 1: 21-23.
“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says,
‘I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.’
‘I will put my trust in him.’
‘And again he says,
‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’
‘Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.'” – Hebrews 2:10-18.
May the Lord’s hand be upon you in each circumstance you are in.