I was reminded this week in our study of Esther (Wednesday’s study) of a couple of verses in the book of Philippians. In the 4th chapter Paul writes “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (v. 6-7). I was reminded of these verses when we were considering Mordecai’s response to Esther having been placed in Xerxes’s harem for the beauty contest that would decide who the next queen would be. In verse 11 of chapter 2 we read “Everyday he (Mordecai) walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her”. My question to our Bible study group was “Why didn’t Mordecai simply turn this matter over to God and just leave it there? Why did he worry so much about what was happening to Esther?”
Well, let us consider for a few moments why Mordecai might have had a hard time turning this matter over to God and why we may have a hard time turning problems over to God. It is important to remember that both Mordecai and Esther had been born and raised in the total pagan culture of Persia. It is also important to remember that Esther is a totally secular book. A book that shows us God is interested in redeeming the secular world even if His presence is not acknowledged. It is quite possible and even likely that Mordecai wasn’t even trusting God at this point in his life, so he couldn’t turn the matter over to someone he didn’t believe in. Mordecai may also represent many today who do not call on God because of their pride. Maybe he felt that as a high official working in the King’s court that he could handle this situation himself without any unknown deity’s help. Mordecai, who was Esther’s cousin, had actually raised Esther as his own daughter. Whatever his reasons for not turning the whole matter over to God, it is obvious that he was struggling with the whole situation.
But what about us, why is it so hard to turn certain matters and life situations (particularly involving our children) over to God? Maybe we sometimes lack faith and trust in God’s ability to redeem our situation. Maybe we prefer control to surrender and find our pride getting in the way of us allowing God to deal with our own situation. Paul’s admonition to “be anxious for nothing” is one of the harder things we have to apply to our lives. And yet Paul’s example (he wrote those words from a Roman prison) should inspire us to see that God is ultimately in control. We may have wait on Him and that’s almost always hard to do. But we must realize He is working in the midst of our pain and disappointment to do something beyond our imagination, just as He did in Esther’s day. So what is the anxiety that you need to lay on the altar today and leave there? Don’t be anxious but pray and wait!
Trusting Christ to Work,