Esther, as you know, was called for such the time she was called. The courage God gave her was incredible.
I realize I’m not a puppet on a string. I get that. I’ve been given “free-will” to make my own choices. God does not force me to show up to work or go to church. I think He has put me in this place and time for a reason. There is a randomness to life, but even in the randomness God is at work in very specific ways. I get to be a part of it.
As we sat in the Generations Lobby this morning the topic of 9/11 came up of course. Some of us shared what we were doing that day. I did not, but I am going to share it here. I was in grad school at the time, and I was sitting with my wife’s grandmother. When it all began I was actually at my wife’s grandmother’s house studying Hebrew in the living room. I think I was doing vocab with flash cards on the floor. It’s kind of a blur right now as to the specifics because it’s been so long, but I do remember watching the second plane hit the second tower on television. It’s the kind of thing my parents went through when they found out JFK had been murdered in Dallas. Surreal, it felt like it wasn’t really happening because you’re in a state of denial. But as time marched on you knew it was real.
I was enamored with the time it took to clear the wreckage at Ground Zero, but in a way I shouldn’t have been because the massive amount of concrete, steel and glass was the size of a California foothill. I just learned that it took nine months to cleanup Ground Zero. 9/11 was a horrific terrorist attack on our soil that changed our nation forever. It’s amazing to me how any God-fearing person can justify the murder of innocent civilians. No doubt they had strong faith that what they were doing was commanded by God, but their delusion will lead them to perish. God so loved the world, and yet I myself give into the kind of hate that led to 9/11.
9/11 happened three years before by daughter was born, so obviously there are a number of Americans who only know about it the way I know about the murder of JFK. Nonetheless it affects us all as we contemplate the suffering 9/11 caused.
Esther was called to save her people from a murderous tyrant who was bent on killing an entire nation. You know the end of the story, and unlike 9/11 it has a happy ending. Good has come out of 9/11, but it’s still a painful chapter in our nation’s history.
God raises up people throughout our lives who help shoulder the pain we bear. Those men I met with this morning are doing that for me. God brought Esther into the lives of her people, and the ironic thing about the book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible is that God is never mentioned by whoever wrote it. That doesn’t mean the Father was not instrumental in the carrying out of His plan. Esther has endured the canonization process, and it is very much a part of the sixty-six books of the Bible.
I don’t understand why suffering and pain have to be a part of our experience except to blame the fall. They seem to be an integral part of our existential questions, and the only way around them is through them. We strive to short circuit the process, but in the end we are faced with the fall that created it. We don’t gravel in it because we are endowed with endurance from our Creator, and when He becomes greater in our faith than the suffering, we can say with David that our cups run over.
Relevant Magazine put it well today. They in essence wrote that because of God’s love we can rise above the hate that evil creates.
There was a Man who did just that years ago, and His name is Jesus. He conquered death, and even though this message is not popular, neither was it popular when He stood before Pilate. Leaders, nations, families and individuals have come against Jesus since the beginning of time, yet He has not been silenced.
He lives for the least of these, and He even came for terrorists (Barabbas).
He also lives for you, me and even those who aren’t here for such a time as this.