Where Have all the Esthers Gone?

Our Bible reading program was fifty of the most famous stories in the Old Testament including David battling the giant Goliath, Daniel surviving the night in a pit with lions, and Gideon and Deborah’ victories over larger and better equipped armies. We read these amazing stories and comment on their great faith, but I as I look around and into my own heart I wonder if we are failing to appropriate their faith in the greatness of God into our own lives.

For example, consider Esther. When confronted with uncertainty and possible death she replies, “If I perish, I perish.” Unlike, Esther many believers today prefer to remain in the background, avoid risk and minimize danger. Is this following the Biblical pattern? Esther knew her life was in the hands of God and her days were numbered by Him, not the whims of a worldly king. If I perish…How strongly do I believe that my days are ordered by God and recognize I can’t control the unknown or keep myself safe?  He is my stronghold.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego boldly declare  to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will delivers us out of your hand, but even if He does not, let it be known to you that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the image you have set up.” The LORD is our only source of safety and deliverance from the heat of the flames of a world attempting to melt us and re-shape us into fearful, embittered or apathetic people who hide His light under a basket.

Even if I am not an Esther now there is hope. When God first called Gideon, the Lord found him hiding in a cave. Like me, Gideon felt ill-prepared for any assignment the Lord would give him, but God reminded Gideon and us that the most important consideration is not the skill or strength we possess but that the Almighty God is with us. The Lord of Hosts (armies of heaven) leads the way before us, I need not cower in a cave but knowing this I can go forth with confidence that God holds me in his hand.

Feeling Judged

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When we go to restaurants or parks with Joshua, I feel like we are being observed and our actions and words are being judged by those around us. I am not sure if this is true or if I am oversensitive to the opinions of others. If I am being judged by others, this supposes that 1) they are actually thinking of/watching us and 2) they are thinking the ideas which I attribute to them.   While the first condition may be true, it is unlikely that they are thinking the exact thoughts I am imagining they are thinking.

When I tell people I struggle with depression, sometimes I wonder if someone is judging my faith or spiritual walk.  I don’t know. No one has actually said they feel spiritually stronger than I am because they don’t get stuck in cycles depression.

I suspect that no one likes to feel judged and that no one wants to feel assessed without understanding. Even if I sense the condemning gaze by another person, that does not mean God is condemning me.  He sees everything, and His judgment is always true. Unless another person’s opinion aligns with God’s, does it matter if they think I am not measuring up to their expectations or not doing something the way they think is right?

Only God fully knows what others are thinking and what their motivations are. Love believes the best.  God has showered me with grace upon grace. I want to extend this grace to others by not jumping to conclusions.

Galatians 1:10 Am I seeking the favor of men or of God? Am I striving to please men? If I am still striving to please men, I am not a bondservant of Jesus.