On the Second Row… “A Little Bit of Strategy” and Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day was founded by a woman named Anna Jarvis. Jarvis was unmarried and childless, but she swore after her mother’s death that she would create a holiday in honor of her mother. Jarvis spent her adult life writing letters to public officials, statesman, lawmakers, and heads of companies campaigning for the holiday. In 1914, Mother’s Day became an official recognized day of celebration for mothers in the United States. This week at WPT South, we celebrated Mother’s Day by honoring our moms in the simple way that I think would have made Anna Jarvis proud. We acknowledged all of the hard work that they do and showed them the appreciation that they deserved. And we had fun while doing so.
Don’t believe me? Check this out:
Mothers are quite tenacious. When others give up on us, mothers continue to root for their children. And moms come in many forms. I am so thankful to have a wonderful mom, but so many of my friends have lost their mothers. However, God is so good that not only does He provide us physical mothers, but He also allows us to have spiritual mothers as well, women who pray for us and counsel us when life gets tough. These spiritual moms understand that each one of us has a destiny to fulfill. I am so thankful for these women in my life who, along with my mom, have encouraged me and loved me when I was at my lowest.
Sister Sandra Georgusis, one of WPT South’s spiritual moms, spoke on Mother’s Day about Queen Esther. Even though the story is not about a mother, it is about a woman who strategized to ensure the safety of an entire group of people. She is an example to all of us of how to pray and seek an audience with the King when we do not know where life is headed.
Sister Sandra said that Esther’s story begins long before she was ever born. In Genesis 35:10-11, God promises Jacob that “a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.” He also changes Jacob’s name to Israel. One of Israel’s sons, Benjamin, is Esther’s descendant. She and her family come from this tribe which means “God’s Right Arm.”
Esther would have hardly understood her importance, though, growing up. She was an orphan raised by her uncle Mordecai. When the king’s wife Vashti is dethroned and the king begins searching for a new queen, Hadassah, Esther’s Hebrew name which means “deeply rooted, not easily moved,” is renamed Esther which means “star” and is sent with many other women to the palace. And when she finally gets an audience with the king, she would have hardly expected that he would be so pleased with her as to make her the new queen. And yet, God had a plan.
When it is revealed to Mordecai that Haman, the King’s top advisor, has convinced the king to order all Jews destroyed, Mordecai tells Esther in Esther 4:14 that maybe, just maybe, she was brought to the palace “for such a time as this.” So, Esther has a decision to make. She can go into the king unannounced and risk death or she can stay silent while those outside of the palace walls die. She decides to fast and pray, gets others to do the same, and on the third day, she pushes through the doors into the inner chamber of the king. Instead of banishing her, the king is so overcome with love for her that he offers her up to half of his kingdom.
Sis. Sandra said that sometimes we have to push through difficulties in order to seek out God’s plan. Esther had a strategy, and we have to seek God for a strategy for our lives and for the lives of those around us whom we love. And we have to use the Word as a weapon against the schemes of the enemy who would try to tell us that God does not have a plan and a purpose for us.
And what is more, in the story, Esther reveals Haman’s plot to her husband, and the Jewish people are able to annihilate their enemies. They leave none of Haman’s sons alive. They remove all hindrances from their future generations so that no one will have to worry about a plot against them again, and they even get the spoils of war. And when we pray and seek God for ourselves and pray for those we love, we should pray that all hindrances that may creep into our lives be annihilated, too. We certainly do not want our future generations having to deal with the same tactics of the enemy that we have had to contend with.
At the end of the service, Pastor Chris brought up a really great point about Esther. She prepared herself for the king. He was her number one audience. For us, our priority should be to spend time with King Jesus who loved us enough to take our sin and iniquity on the cross. Sometimes we look for an audience outside of this and end up just complaining about our lot to others instead of hearing from the One who can deliver us from it all. We only need to have faith to believe that God will do what He says.
I hope you were in the second row of a church somewhere this week. I hope you were in any row, actually. But if you still need a place to feel welcomed and loved, there is always a seat on the second row next to me reserved for you.
See you next week!
May 16, 2018