Friday, September 5, 2014
God is in the Details
"A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9
"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand." Proverbs 19:21
I've been S.O.A.P.'ing my way through Esther this week and it has been an encouragement to me! There are SO MANY strong themes to pull from this book. During this season of life, the most obvious and convicting reminder to me is that God is in all the details. By "in" I mean very involved in how each detail plays out. Knowing the heart and mind of each person and able to guide, change and direct the entire situation to His own desired ends.
Esther, an orphan, chosen from amongst many women, is favored by the eunuchs of the King and the King himself, and made queen of the Medo-Persian empire. A Jew! The scripture's mention her as being beautiful. God did that! (Psalm 139:13) He knew what was in her future. She was made queen during a time when the evil Haman devised a plan for the destruction of her people! But not out of the sight of The Lord who set them apart for Himself. Although His name is never mentioned, His sovereignty is clear, as the story unfolds.
Some more of God's handiwork...Esther is received by the King, unsummoned (which was dangerous and rare). Mordecai (the Jew and Esther's cousin) is honored for saving the King. The King can't sleep... how ironic?:) No, how GOD. Haman is chosen to honor Mordecai... and I'm only in chapter 6. Such an exciting story of God's perfect timing and impeccable plan. I know how it ends, but it's an impelling read anyway!
At this point in time, daily life can be quite overwhelming for me. I never imagined the stress I encounter moment to moment would be day-to-day life. When I rest in the fact that God has arranged my life "for such a time as this" I cannot deny the joy and the peace that floods my heart and mind. I'm reminded that the same sovereign God that protected Esther is protecting me and my family. He's making plans, orchestrating the song of our live's in ways I could never understand or imagine. He's still bringing glory to His name through His people, just as He brought glory to Himself through Queen Esther. He's actively moving in the details of where I am, who I'm with and what I'm doing.
"And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us." Acts 17:26-27
His hand is crystal clear to me looking back through my life. Giving here. Taking there. I've made poor choices that He foreknew, redeemed and has used for His glory. He provided a wonderful husband, whom I would have met 3 different ways had we not met the way we did. (yes, He let me choose which way!) homes, food, clothing, healthy pregnancies (amazing doctors and nurses), children, friends, a new camp home for Citikidz... I could go on for days!! I wish I had space to write the ways He's worked in detail, but I could never do it...at least not now, with little ones hanging on my legs as I type. Maybe another time.:) Along with that, thinking of all of the ways His grace has been present when I'm totally unaware is overwhelming-In a good way.
I forget these great gifts all the time and act like I better get busy taking care of everything because it all depends on me. I need to be reminded daily that He has a plan He is working out in my life moment by moment. Although I don't need to be inactive, I have to give credit where credit is due. God is in control of this mess people. Don't think for a second that anything we or our country or our world encounters hasn't been filtered through His almighty hand and heart.
He can handle the pressure. He even uses people who devise evil plans to bring His name glory. People who don't believe He exists or worse, say they believe He exists, but it makes no difference in their lives. He doesn't always bring Himself glory in the way we would desire or expect, but always in the best way.(Isaiah 55:8-9) Not our best. His best... which is eternally superior.
Though His best for me has not been the easiest or most desirable to many, it wasn't for Esther either. It wasn't easy losing her parents, being taken from the only family she knew and forced to be Queen alongside a King who exemplified questionable judgement at the very least. I'm sure, if you asked her, she'd say she'd rather have been doing what the average girl in those days was doing instead of risking her life to go before a King who could choose to crush her and her people in an instant. I'm accepting that God's best for me doesn't look like what other people might think it should. It usually doesn't. If you read the scriptures, that's very clear. Faithful men and women are more often then not mistreated and misunderstood. I'll take His best over man's all day. Lord, help me to LIVE like it!
No, as Esther knew well, walking with God doesn't always mean things always look good all the time, but the one great reward that it does give is life with our loving creator forevermore. Now that is a reward I can suffer for.
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9
Father, help us to live what we say we believe. We desperately need you to show yourself to us. Help us to trust in your plans for our lives. That you are truly in control. Help us to surrender the areas we try to take control from you in. We pray that you would even prompt us to come to you BEFORE we make our own plans, remembering that you always have our best interest and your greatest glory in mind. Please remind us that you are protecting us, even when it doesn't seem like it. You're going before us and all around us providing your grace and favor, even when we don't see it. Help us to put our fears and striving to rest in your lap and THANK YOU for being wrapped up in all the details. In Jesus' name. Amen.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory..." Ephesians 3:20-21