Encouragement From The Word

For Such A Time As This

Those of us acquainted with some of the stories in the Old Testament remember the account of Esther, a young Jewish woman who found favour with the king of Persia, married him, and through her office managed to save the Jewish people from the evil plot of Haman.  (It’s what the recently-celebrated festival of Purim marks for Jewish people.)  In that story, as the plot to kill the Jewish people grows more obvious, her cousin, Mordecai, famously says to Esther, “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4.14, NLT).

It’s a great illustration that reminds us that God’s timing is always right.  There are no coincidences.

Earlier this week, I met with my spiritual director.  I could tell something wasn’t quite right, and she revealed that she had just flown back from visiting her nonagenarian father, who had fallen and broken his ankle.  The family was concerned for his health.

While we were talking, her cell phone rang.  Normally, she would have ignored it, but because of her family situation, she chose to answer it, and I completely understood.

Matters had gotten worse, and her sister had called to tell my spiritual director.

Her sister put her dad on the phone, and my spiritual director talked with him briefly and prayed with him.

At that point, I knew our spiritual direction session was over.  That was okay; it could wait.  My spiritual director neededmy support at that time, and I sought to provide it as best I could.

When I departed, she told me, “I’m glad you were here today.”  

So was I.  I knew that it was no accident that all this would transpire while I was with her.  My spiritual director and I are friends, too, and I was honoured to be able to care for her in that moment of need.  I was there “for such a time as this.”

Let me encourage you to consider those occasions that you might think of “coincidences” as something more than that:  whether good or bad, whether rejoicing or in crisis, think about how God may have placed you in a particular situation “for such a time as this,” and allow his ministry to take place, whether through you or through another person who is with you at the time.

As of the time of writing, my spiritual director’s father is improving.

Consider how God may place you in certain situations “for such a time as this.”

Encouragement From The Word

Give all your worries to God

A friend of mine is moving a long distance.  She had quite a lot of stuff she chose not to take with her in the move. Wondering how best to find a home for it, she had been talking about it with some others, but in the end, with little hope of finding a way to get rid of it, she gave the situation to God.

That same day, she had a knock at her office door; two young women were standing there.  “We overheard you telling some people that you were trying to get rid of some things before you move, “ one of them said.

“Yes I am,” my friend replied.

“We decided to take an apartment together, along with another friend,” the woman continued, “and we need furniture.  We could take your stuff for you.”

My friend could hardly believe her ears.  But the story gets better.

“Yes, we’re moving to an apartment on X Avenue,” said the other woman, naming the street they were moving to.

“That’s interesting,” said my friend.  “That’s where I live now.”  There are several apartment buildings clustered together on that street, though, so it could have been one of many apartments in any of those buildings the women were moving to.

As the conversation continued, my friend realized that they were moving into the same building as she is currently living.  Imagine the amazement on all of their faces when they discovered that the women had rented the very same apartment my friend was vacating!

My friend committed the situation to the Lord, and not only was he faithful in answering my friend’s prayer generally, he was faithful in answering it very, very specifically.

The movers-in will not need to find a moving truck, or a group of friends, to get my friend’s furniture; it can stay exactly where it is.  And my friend is now deeply relieved that the belongings she elected not to move will be going to a good home…in the very same square footage that my friend had enjoyed as her home for several year.

Does God work this way all the time?  No. But the Lord can surprise us with graces like this when we fully commit our worrisome situations to his care.

What do you need to let go of in order to see God take care of your needs?

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5.7, NLT).