God's presence is not as intriguing as His absence. His voice is not as eloquent as His silence. Who of us has not longed for a word from God, searched for a glimpse of His power, or yearned for the reassurance of His presence, only to feel that He seems absent for the moment? Distant. Preoccupied. Maybe even unconcerned. Yet later, we realize how very present He was all along.
Though God may at times seem distant, and though He is invisible to us, He is always invincible. This is the main lesson of the book of Esther. Though absent by name from the pages of this particular book of Jewish history, God is present in every scene and in the movement of every event, until He ultimately and finally brings everything to a marvelous climax as He proves Himself Lord of His people, the Jews.
Mordecai was a descendant of one of those exiled Jews. He was a godly man, and his most significant role was his relationship to Esther.
Esther, which is this young woman's Persian name, means "star." This seems appropriate, since she is truly the star of the show, the heroine of the story. The immortal, invisible, all-wise hand of God is working behind the scenes, hidden from human eyes. Only such a gracious and all-knowing Being would have His hand on some forgotten orphan, a little girl who had lost her mother and father and was left to be raised by her cousin Mordecai.
There is a beautiful message here for anyone who has ever experienced brokenness, for anyone who has ever been crushed by life, for anyone who has ever felt that his past is so discolored, so disjointed, so fractured that there is no way in the world God can make reason and meaning out of it. We are going to learn some unforgettable lessons from Esther. Here was a little girl who must have cried her heart out at the death of her parents, bereft and orphaned, yet who, years later, would become key to the very survival of her people, the Jews. God and God alone can do such things — He, in fact, does do such things, working silently and invisibly behind the events of history.
And He is working quietly behind the scenes of your life too.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, "Not Forgotten," in Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing, 2005), 193. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
I am on a long flight home. I’m tired. The days away were well-spent but exhausting. I am glad I made the trip, but I’m even happier to be coming home. There’s nothing like a few days away to remind me how much I love being home.