Blessings to you with love, dear sisters and brothers. May you be encouraged and blessed, and may The Lord of Glory be blessed and glorified.
The bus was leaking this morning, the morning of the fast of Esther. No, it wasn’t leaking gas, as our apartment was earlier this week, but water. No again, not from the radiator. I contemplated opening my umbrella, but as everyone else was being very stoic about this, I decided that I would be too. True, the rain was not as heavy INSIDE of the bus as it was outside, and I was blessed that this morning my seat was not wet, as it had been yesterday. Thank God for the rain! Even if the weather shift causes the rain to fall in torrential buckets for several days at a time rather then being scattered more evenly throughout the winter and spring, the water is a blessing and we are thankful.
And the storms are DRAMATIC to say the least.
Today is the fast of Esther. Purim is rapidly approaching when Jews everywhere celebrate survival, as a people, against all odds. Although Purim specifically celebrates our survival at the time of Esther, it is symbolic of the ancient and ongoing battle, but the means are still the same today. There are always some raised up “for such a time as this.”
The book of Esther will be read in synagogues, homes, on the bus, and really wherever people gather together, and festive activities will follow. Around the country, Purim begins this year on Saturday night through Sunday, but in Jerusalem (the walled city), Purim is Sunday night through Monday. Our shops have been filled with costumes as people, especially children, dress up…traditionally as Queen Esther and Mordachai. However, sadly, more and more super heroes and monsters are replacing the Biblical heroes.
Baskets full of tasty morsels are given out (mishloach manoat – sent portions) as gifts, baskets with sweets, humantasin – or oznaim haman (a 3 pointed filled cookie graphically called “Haman’s ears”), small bottles of wine or grape juice and the like. It is not my favorite holiday because I see it as having veered away from the focus of God’s great deliverance to a Halloween type party, and that is sad. But on the fast day I think of Esther being called “for such a time as this,” and each of us being called in our own place and purpose. Who was she?
I had the great and undeserved privilege last July to share with a large international group of praying ladies, and the topic was “for such a time as this.” As I prayed through my preparation, I was so struck by God’s timing. He said: “And it shall happen in the last days…” and “the time drew near…” and “The time is not yet…” and “As the time approached…” and “The time is very near…” and “As you see the time approaching… and “AND IT CAME TO PASS…” and many other exhortations.
I think again of the weather outside. It is very cold, much colder then we would normally expect at this time of year, nevertheless, the trees are bursting forth with new leaves, as are the flowers, and the spring birds have arrived and built their nests. They do not consider the weather. They KNOW THEIR TIME.
I was reading Matthew 24 again this morning in my regular reading. I am so thankful for this “roadmap chapter” that lays out so clearly: “Then…” and “Then…” and “When you see this…” I find His landmarks very clear. I don’t know what the fuss is sometimes between those who wrestle with prophecy because He told us.
And again I think of Esther. She found herself where she found herself “for such a time as this.” She was given a choice and could have let God raise someone else up. After all, she began as an orphan, became a queen, but she did not choose this path herself. She let God choose and she walked it out. I suspect that she would have walked as faithfully as an unknown servant.
Today I know that is what I want: to let God choose the path and then to faithfully walk it out, looking unto Yeshua, The Author and Finisher of my faith. I have no faith of my own; it is all His.
And in the midst of the path I find sisters and brothers with encouragement for me. Friends come from afar and oh how they strengthen my hands. May I strengthen theirs. His wonderful body in action.
Today in Israel I watch the seasons. There were 70 or more rockets fired at Israel last night from Gaza. British Prime Minister Cameron, visiting Israel, dazzled our Knesset yesterday with such supportive words, very unusual from a European leader or any leader. Yet as I listened to his speech, I heard him calling clearly for the return to the indefensible 1967 borders and division of Jerusalem. I read God’s Word and see that if we obey the world we disobey God. How will it play out? How will we walk in the midst? Will our eyes behold terrible things and if they do, how will we stand? More agonizing situations in Ukraine, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, we loose track sometimes of all of the problems.
And my bus leaks.
There is humor in watching the rain fall inside of the bus. May we all find our full strength in Him to keep walking, faithfully, wherever He puts us and may it be ALL for HIS glory alone.
Thanks for letting me share. Blessing and peace in His Presence to each of you.
your sis J