February 1, 2023
By Jo Wiersema
Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and a variety of topics.
I’ve written over the last year a lot on call, on listening to God’s call, following God’s call, and living out a life that is honoring to how God calls you. I was attempting some type of devotional time this morning. Flipping through my old and worn bible, trying to find something to give me hope, inspiration, or peace at the start to a busy week.
I had a friend in school who would do this. I didn’t really understand Christianity, but she would open her Bible randomly and hope that some sign from God would be revealed to her. The joy in this ritual is that the way the Bible is organized, my friend almost always got some dark and spooky Bible passage from the prophets. From the darkness of the Daniel’s Lion’s Den, or Jonah frustrated and exasperated, it didn’t provide the answers she wanted as she prayed for her success on her Biology test or about a boy problem.
Today, I didn’t just let my Bible fall open, but I flipped to a few of my favorite books of the Hebrew Bible, praying for something of peace.
I looked around in Ruth: that didn’t feel quite right. Ruth is who I turn to when I want to be strong.
I stumbled through Judges, reading the names of my favorite prophetesses. Of songs and murders and high drama. Judges is what I turn to when I need to be empowered to fight the good fight.
I settled into Esther. Like Goldilocks trying to find the right fit, Esther felt just right. Esther is who I needed, a Queen who wasn’t always a queen. A woman who was just trying to do right by God, but mostly trying to love the people closest to her well.
Esther is one of the two books of the Bible that don’t mention God by name. The book speaks of the Jews, of the people of God, but there is no God to speak to and through the people of Israel. Sometimes you call out to God, you listen for response, but this silence, maybe it’s God asking you to move forward.
Esther hears the words of Mordecai, the note that it’s not all on her shoulders. She isn’t the hero because no one else will come, she’s not the Messiah. Esther knows she can be silent, that God will provide for her people, and they will be delivered, just as God has done generation after generation.
There are so many parts of the Bible where it’s the job of someone to do the one thing. They run from the thing (Moses, Jonah, Peter, etc), and God pulls them back and then they just do the thing. God isn’t speaking to Esther here, and she’s not speaking to Them. There’s no God in the book twisting her arm to save the people. If she is talking to God, it’s not written in the narrative for us to see. Esther listens to Mordecai and makes a choice. She looks at the hope for her people. There’s no guarantee that she will be successful. There’s no guarantee that she won’t die in the midst of it all. But she does it.
For such a time as this.
Who knows if you’re given this opportunity,
This new adventure,
This call (even if God’s not giving you very clear instructions),
for such a time as this.
It’s okay to believe in yourself a little bit. To listen to those whom you love and trust. To take a leap into dangerous waters because it might just be the right time.
May the grace of our Lord be with you this day and always,