The story of Esther unfolds in a kingdom—the Persian Empire of King Ahasuerus. And as followers of Christ, we exist for a King and His eternal Kingdom.
This week, we read how Esther is prepared for her one-night stand with King Ahasuerus. We read how she presents herself to the king. And how he throws a celebration in her honor.
But we belong to a Kingdom with a better King named Jesus Christ. So, with that in mind, let’s see how we experience a better preparation, presentation, and celebration than Esther.
It was like being caught in a whirlwind. Shaken to the core. Reminded of what matters most. Stepping upon stones. On an unknown sea. And clinging to Christ through it all.
That’s what 2019 felt like to me.
Can you relate? Another year has come and gone. Like a tornado rustling through a village. And you’re trying to understand what’s left of it. Rummaging through debris. Picking up the pieces. Much has taken place. Some good stuff. Some bad stuff. Some stuff you’re still unsure about. As you walk into 2020 with a strange mixture of excitement and fear.
Hey there! Are you still in the waiting room? If so, I have good news. This week, I’m continuing my “In the waiting room” series on John 11:1-44. I’m studying three reasons why God keeps you waiting. Allow me to share them with you.
First, God is glorified through your waiting.
Remember, this series comes from the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. It begins like this: “Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was” (John 11:1-6 ESV).
It’s a well-known idiom. But to me, it means something more.
One of my favorite people in the Bible is John the Baptist. I preach about him quite a bit. And today is no different. After all, John the Baptist ranks among the most humble of any human in Scripture.
John is noted for saying, “‘He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease’” (John 3:30 ESV).
Preparing the way for Christ, John the Baptist was not liked by many. This landed him a spot in prison. He did nothing wrong. But John was unwilling to compromise his commitment to the Gospel.
Charles Swindoll says, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” While I’m no statistician, I’m pretty sure he’s right. At least close.
Nearly a year ago, I graduated high school. As I walked across the stage, Proverbs 16:9 was read. “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” (NLT). And let me tell you, I’m finding this verse to be true.
I had plans. Godly plans. I had just received a big scholarship to a Christian university. I had just given a graduation speech that escalated quickly in the community. I was being recognized on Walk-FM as a “World Changer.” I had a girlfriend who I genuinely felt God had given me. For the most part, life was good.