“Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them.” (9:1)
Our lives are full of varied levels of hopeless situations; instances which bring us to our knees in anticipation. But God is powerful and He can bring victory, even the inauguration of a holiday, to the day of your disaster. To that very day.
The book of Esther chronicles yet another time when God switched Israel’s doom to salvation. Most Israel’s festivals are in remembrance of God’s ability to rescue and preserve (ie. Passsover, Booths, Purim, Hanukkah).
“as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.” (9:22)
Maybe, for you, things haven’t been quite that extreme, but can you remember a time God turned your sorrow into gladness or mourning into joy? I’m not talking silver linings (which are also nice), I’m talking full turn around.
I can forget the weight of my own salvation, at times, as one raised in the church in the American 90’s. But I was dead in my sin, and God made me alive with Christ. I am seated in the heavenly places with Him! I once was “excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, a stranger to the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12) but now His blood has drawn me in. I’ve been brought near. I am no longer a stranger, a foreigner, an outsider. I am a part of God’s family! (Man, I love Ephesians).
God knows we remember the bad things more than good things; mean comments stick more than compliments. Sometimes it takes awhile to remember all the miracles God has enacted on our behalf, but it’s important to. God knows we need holidays and reminders. Create habits of gratitude and remembering the faithfulness of God. Our lives are a lot like the book of Esther: God’s work isn’t always pointed out for us, we need to keep an eye out for it and celebrate it.
The world is full of war right now, but can I dare say: I am so happy God has brought Syrians into my life? I am incredibly enriched and blessed to know them. I have had many jobs throughout my life and businesses have shut down while I’ve been there. I can remember 4 off the top of my head. Sometimes God has to forcefully more us forward, but I am ESTATIC He has led me here.
Keep a journal. Make thankfulness lists. Keep a record of your prayers so you can thank God when He answers them. Commemorate things. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking God isn’t there just because He hasn’t been named. You can lift His name.