Scripture Reading: Esther 4:1-17, Isaiah 15:1-3, Romans 5:6-11
Rachel is a scourge to the devil in Vienna.
Every time I saw her she was flushed with excitement over a recent chance to share the gospel. Any encounter on the subway, any phone call, and every relationship irresistibly impelled her to tell people the good news. Although she was a gifted linguist with a degree from Cambridge, she carried Bible tracts in her pockets and she wasn’t afraid to use them.
No amount of poor or sad or weird was enough to keep Rachel from befriending strangers and reaching out to them with hope and love. She was inspiring and a little overwhelming.
One afternoon, Rachel invited me to a street music event she was staging on Kärntner Straße. She is a classical violinist and had gathered other string musicians to play a concert and share the gospel on that ancient, black stone street.
Feeling both a little shy and peckish, I got a gelato and went antique shopping instead.
I missed an opportunity. God didn’t need me to help share His gospel; His gospel will go forth whether I stand up and speak His name or not. In fact, if I can’t muster a good word about the Lord, Scripture says even the stones will cry out in my place (Luke 19:40).
God invites us to join His work, not for His sake, but for ours. God invited Esther to join Him in saving the Jewish nation. If Esther had refused to go to the king, God still would have saved His people, but she would have missed an opportunity. As Esther’s cousin Mordecai said:
“If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”
- Esther 4:14
Our refusal to take part in God’s work doesn’t thwart God. It limits our privilege to take part in what He is doing. God can even use unrepentant sinners to achieve His good purposes. Consider Pharaoh, Caiaphas the high priest, and Pontius Pilate (Exodus 9:12; John 18:14; John 19:5-16). “But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
God’s providence is comprehensive, wise, and holy. His timing and calling are no mistake, and just as He did with Esther, He has placed us here and now, for such a time as this.
We, like Esther, can have courage, comfort, and peace. From a human perspective, our lives and circumstances can seem totally out of control and scary. But we can rest in God’s providence, knowing that He is working.
Look for God’s invitation to join Him in His work. Have courage, comfort, and peace—you can join Him now! You can always go get a gelato later.