Scripture Reading: Esther 9:1-22, Nehemiah 8:10, Luke 1:46-55
When it comes to a blockbuster movie experience, I like to feel a tinge of tension. I don’t mind my emotions being pushed to the brink of disaster before the hero swoops in and saves the day—that is, while I’m sitting in a comfy seat with a jumbo tub of popcorn (extra butter, please). But in real life? Oh no. I’d rather play it safe.
I don’t want to even come close to disaster, disappointment, or despair. I’d prefer to see God’s hand rescue me as soon as the thought that something could go wrong enters my mind. Wouldn’t you?
God knows this about us, and He knows what we need. His plan is always right on time. Never early. Never late. We see this play out among God’s people in the book of Esther. Haman’s evil edict of death was issued on the thirteenth day of the first month, sending God’s people into a panic (Esther 3:15). But deliverance did not come until the thirteenth day of the twelfth month. The only thing worse than panic is prolonged panic. Am I right?
For twelve long months God’s people must have pleaded with Him to rescue them. They must have worn paths in the kitchen floor pacing with worry. They must have resisted a million urges to run and hide the little ones they knew Haman had ordered to be killed. They must have fretted that God would not come through, worried they’d misunderstood His plan for them, or felt abandoned by the God who promised to protect them.
Deliverance did not come twelve months early, or twelve weeks early, or twelve days early.
Deliverance came “on the day when the Jews’ enemies had hoped to overpower them, just the opposite happened. The Jews overpowered those who hated them” (Esther 9:1).
That very day.
The second they arrived at the juncture they’d been dreading, the switch flipped, the tables turned, and their Great Deliverer delivered them from destruction. God’s people stood, ready to fight, eyeball to eyeball with their worst nightmare. God has promised He will care for us, but we cannot put grace to the side, storing it up for a moment we don’t want to face.
When our enemies come for us, God will stand beside us. When our hearts are broken, God will be near (Psalm 34:18). When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will see His hand (Psalm 23:4). But we may find ourselves closer to suffering than we’d ever want to be, on our knees praying until they ache. Like Israel did as they fled their Egyptian oppressors (nearly 1,000 years before Esther pleaded for her people to be spared), we may feel the sting of a raging sea before us and hear the pounding of enemy chariots behind us before we are able to see God make a way.
So what do we do as we wait for our rescue? We stand firm in God’s promises, trusting that He will deliver us at exactly the right moment. We wait for His rescue. We wait on Him. Our God is able to shift our sorrow to gladness and our mourning into celebration (Esther 9:22). He will do it right on time, every time.
Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.