“If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14
Imagine that you are a sweet, faithful child of God. Not too far of a stretch, is it?
Now imagine that you are taken into the harem of an enemy king. Forced to try to win the favor of said king. Subjected to prying eyes and vicious jealousy. All within strange palace walls with nothing familiar left to comfort you.
There are times when God can seem really far away. Silent. Absent.
Many are quick to point out that the name of God is not mentioned anywhere in the book of Esther. I think rather than cause us to doubt the book’s validity because of this absence, this is a purposeful way the Spirit is reminding us that God is always, always there.
Behind the scenes, working for our good, moving in and among our stories. Coinciding and placing and manipulating in the best of ways. Not absent. Never absent.
The book of Esther reminds us that God has purposes for His people, and some of these purposes are born of difficult circumstances. Painful processes. Impossible scenarios. Struggles during which His silence is deafening. His absence is felt. Grief can arise, if we don’t hold on to hope.
Mordechai knew that if Esther couldn’t summon the courage, God would deliver His people by another means. But He also knew that God could mightily use the abused slave girl to show His power. He knew that God’s silence did not denote absence.
Thank God, Esther was willing to trust. She asked a God who had been silent and seemingly absent in her life during terrible times to grant her strength and courage. She had faith that He would uphold her as she made her way through palace halls toward the throne room where her death could be pronounced with one word.
Do we have that much trust in our God when awful times of trial enter our lives? Do we wonder if He is absent? If He has abandoned us? If He cares?
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20
Let’s Go Deeper:
1. What kind of trials are you facing that cause you to wonder if God is absent?
2. How do you handle these lonely feelings of abandonment?
3. Write here a verse that reminds you of His constant presence.
4. What is one thing you can do, today, to encourage someone who is struggling with grief or suffering?
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May God Bless You,