For Such a Time as This

See the source image
(Image courtesy of blogspot)

“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

A New Suggestion I Give you

See the source image
(image curtesy of Pinterest)

I often marvel, and sometimes even write about the command of Jesus given to his disciples just prior to His arrest, mock trial and crucifixion: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)

I have tried to get my head around the fact that Jesus was telling His followers to love as He loved. But, I say to myself, Jesus loved perfectly. I am not capable of coming close to that. As I do these mental gymnastics, I usually come back to the fact that Jesus knows I can’t. He is not expecting perfection from me; but I do believe He wants me to consciously be doing the best I can at all times.

With this somewhat settled, for now, in my mind, I move on to how I can show this love. Jesus has left this part quite open: Love one another. Once again as I examine my track record with this, I find myself behavior overly self-serving. Far too many times I have allowed my wants to interfere with me seeing to the needs of others. I must admit I have missed opportunities to simply love others because I have been too caught up in my own stuff of the moment.

I am ever so grateful for the faithfulness and patience of God. He continues to give me/us opportunities to showcase His love through our actions. Those of us who proclaim faith in Jesus Christ have a wonderful opportunity to act in genuine love now and in the coming months: Get the Covid-19 vaccination!

As many of you know, I work part-time at a halfway house for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Because I do, I am eligible to get the vaccine. I did so just yesterday as I received the first of the two shots.

This was not a decision I made lightly. I did some research. I wanted, as best I could, to understand the process of development and testing. I also considered the possible adverse reactions that might happen. I concluded that I could trust the science that has gone into this. And I remembered to thank God for making this available.

Hence, Dear Cherished Reader, my suggestion to you is this: When it becomes available to you, please get vaccinated. It is a great way to display the love Jesus was talking about for our fellow humans. Jesus told His disciples then that people would recognize them as His followers by the way they loved people. His command (and my suggestion) is the same: Show others that you care enough about their well-being that you are willing to get vaccinated against this virus.

Thank you!

As always, thanks for reading, be blessed and be a blessing,

Pastor Chuck

BTW: I write this 24 hours after receiving the first shot with zero side effects, not even a sore arm.