I’ve never written anything on Esther. Never so much as mentioned her name. But it’s always been one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I remember watching the Veggie Tales version as a child. Captivated by the thought of a pretty girl named Esther marrying a king, saving her people from death, and—well, that’s pretty much all I remember. Only, there’s so much more.
Upon giving our lives to Christ, we struggle with lesser loves. We still find within ourselves a desire for worldly pleasures. A yearning for material possessions. A longing for satisfaction apart from Christ. There’s a battle for the affections of our hearts. And if we’re not careful, we might forget our love for God altogether.
The Bible says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17 ESV).
I would be concerned if, when getting out of bed each morning, I had no thought of communing with God. If the demands of my day kept me from He who alone provides my every breath (Acts 17:25). If the notifications on my smartphone spoke louder than the cries of my desperate soul. If the urge of extra sleep kept me from spending time with the One who has awakened my soul from death to life (Eph. 2:5).
I don’t always feel like worshiping God. But worship is more than a feeling. Just ask Job.
“There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1 ESV).
The Bible describes Job’s righteousness. But Satan takes notice.
My Fitbit watch tracks my sleep. I got 6 hours and 19 minutes of sleep last night. Not too bad. The National Sleep Foundation suggests 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for people my age. But when I checked my sleep this morning, I was hoping it would be less, not more.
Getting rest might be the hardest thing I do each day. And I doubt I’m the only one. In a culture where productivity is praised, it’s harder than ever to rest.