Most of the time, I am just fine. Perfectly contented. Happy right where I am. But ever so often, I find myself struggling with loneliness which leads to self-pity. A couple of weeks ago, that is exactly where I was. Sundays are the worse. There’s something about going to church alone, then leaving alone. I envy the families I see leaving out together, headed for lunch at some local restaurant. Couples holding hands. Children laughing and skipping out to the car. It’s a sweet scene but it can really hurt. On those days, life seems so unfair.
When I hit those times, my mind takes me places I’d rather not go. I feel unloved. I feel deserted. I feel unwelcome.
The book of Esther is one of my favorite books in the Old Testament. The name of God is not mentioned a single time in it, but it drips with the sovereignty of God on every page. A lowly Jewish girl, because of her beauty which was apparently inward as well as outward, became a queen. But even as queen, she had to wait to be summoned by the king before she could be in his presence. Sounds kinda weird, doesn’t it? But that’s how they did it back then!
She really, really, really needed to talk to the king, but unfortunately he hadn’t summoned her for the past 30 days. But this was a matter of life or death of a whole race of people, her people. Esther spent some time, along with those around her, fasting and praying about this and trusted God to go before her as she asked to come before the king.
Two things would happen when she entered uninvited. Either she would be rejected, which had dire consequences, or the king would hold out his scepter welcoming her. Which would it be? Had the king had a bad day? Was the prior visitor a thorn in his side and he was boiling with anger that would be taken out on her? No matter, she was willing to take the risk. And if you know the story, you know the king held out his scepter and she was welcomed. He was happy to see her and pleased to accept the invitation she presented to him.
Of course, there is a whole lot more to that story, but that’s all I need to make my point.
On those days I feel unloved and deserted and unwelcome, God has nudged me to take notice that His scepter is ALWAYS held out for me. That’s right. I am always welcome in the presence of my King!!! Jesus took care of that for me. I am loved with an everlasting love. I am never, ever alone. And I am eternally welcome. That lifts the loneliness and self-pity and puts it exactly where it needs to go – AWAY!
Just as God had a plan for Esther, He has a plan for me. She didn’t know what His plan was, but she trusted Him anyway. That’s how I am pushing forward on this journey.
Lots of love, Sharon