For Such a Time as This

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“And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14b NIV)

The above quote may well be the best known verse from the Book of Esther. It truly is a compelling story. Found within its 10 chapters are intrigue, irony and selfless bravery. Any of these topics would be more than enough material for an aspiring blogger, but today I just want to focus on that one verse I started with.

If you are not familiar with this short book (you can find it between Nehemiah and Job in the Old Testament), and not wanting to be a spoiler, suffice to say for my purpose today that Esther, through a series of events, has been placed by God in a position to be of great help to her native people.

It is in correspondence with her cousin, Mordecai, that we come across this pearl of wisdom that we are contemplating. Mordecai is doing his best to encourage Esther to use her standing as Queen to influence that King to spare the Jews. Hence, her cousin phrases his request in such a way as to help Esther see the possibility of coming to their aid.

None of us, I feel safe in saying, find ourselves in a royal position this day, as Esther did. That should not, however, prevent us from evaluating the circumstances that we do find ourselves in, looking with an eye and heart to be of service to someone else.

I mean, these days in which we find ourselves are indeed ‘such a time as this.’ To say they are unique does not adequately describe the challenge of global pandemic. Yet in the spirit of Mordecai’s encouragement to Esther, what is to say that you and I are not in our particular circumstance so that we can be a help to another.

And unlike Queen Esther, you and I do not have the weighty problem that faced her: the extermination of her race. This should take some of the pressure off us, but not the responsibility, to our fellow humans.

The question this begs then is this: What can I do ‘for such a time as this’ to carry the desire to be of service to others into action? I will list 3 off the top of my head, and would surely love to see your additions to the list. In no particular order, here we go:

Get the Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available to you. As I’ve stated before, one person getting vaccinated is not that big a deal, unless you get sick or cause some else to. But if we come together as caring people, placing the welfare of others at least on a par with our own, we can win this battle if we get the shot(s).

If, like many of us, you find a little extra time in your day these days, be intentional about setting a side part of this bonus time to spend for someone else. May I suggest you take a moment to pray for somebody you know that is struggling, or perhaps take a moment to call/text/email simply to let them know you are thinking of them.

Last one from me, for now anyway: Expand you frame of reference. For example, where I live is quite rural. There is little to no cultural differences for miles around. Because of this, I know virtually no one who is Muslim and even less of their faith. Since the pandemic, with its lockdowns and shutdowns, I have taken the time to read and research their faith. I do this so that if/when the time comes when God puts a Muslim in my life, I can speak intelligently and with some understanding of their beliefs in hopes of building a bridge to the one true faith in Christ.

Your turn, Most Appreciated Reader, where is God leading you ‘for such a time as this?’

Be blessed and be a blessing,

Pastor Chuck

Two Weeks Later

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I write this two weeks after getting the first of two Moderna vaccinations against Covid 19 and am glad to report that none of my God-given appendages have fallen off nor have I sprouted a third eye (or anything else, for that matter).

Let me be clear at the outset, I am aware and understand that some people have heath issues that make getting vaccinated a risk to them. As always, I encourage folks to follow closely the instruction and direction of their medical care providers.

I write this today to those who may have a more general misgiving about this particular vaccination. As I stated in an earlier blog, I did some research and more importantly spent some time praying about this. My prayer was specific in that I asked God to reveal to me any reason I should hesitate to receive the shot. I have been blessed to be a person of prayer for some time now and have come to have a deep trust in the God I pray to. So when nothing negative was revealed to me, I gladly rolled up my sleeve.

Trusting in God was not only key in my decision to get vaccinated, but it is also my default setting whenever there are decisions to be made in my life. “That’s great for you, your a pastor guy,” you might be thinking. Believe me, my calling has no special bearing in getting heard from above. Really, the trust is built as it is in any relationship: Getting to know the other person in a deeper way.

I know of only one way in which to do this; that is to take the time needed to nurture it. With other people, it usually involves asking questions, listening to the responses and watching to see if what is said matches up with how they live their life. If I see inconsistencies, I will withhold the appropriate amount of trust.

But if their sincerity is matched with integrity, the door is wide open to walk through. I have applied this same approach with my relationship with God. I have found that He is who He says He is and His working in my life and the lives of countless others has backed up what He has promised.

I started writing this earlier in the day solely to encourage you to be thoughtful about getting vaccinated against Covid 19 when it becomes available to you. I firmly believe it is the next right thing to do, not only for yourself, but also those with whom you share life.

But as I wrote, I seem to have moved into another recommendation: to seek out the God of heaven. And not just to seek His guidance about getting the shot, but also to encourage you to step out in faith and develop your end of the relationship He offers you. He is there and patiently waiting, even if I should develop something untoward like an eyestalk.

Be blessed and be a blessing (get the shot!)

Pastor Chuck