Friday in the First Week of Lent

Then Queen Esther, seized with anxiety, fled to the Lord. She took off her splendid apparel and put on the garments of distress and mourning, and instead of costly perfumes, she covered her head with ashes and dung, and she utterly humbled her body; every part that she loved to adorn, she covered with her tangled hair. She prayed to the Lord God of Israel, and said: “O my Lord, you only are our king; help me, who am alone and have no helper but you. … Remember, O Lord; make yourself known in this time of our affliction, and give me courage, O King of the gods and Master of all dominion! … save us by your hand, and help me, who am alone and have no helper but you, O Lord.”
Esther (Apocrypha) 14:1-3, 12, 14

This passage in Esther speaks to me today as I reflect on how she “fled to the Lord” and cried out, “…give me courage, O King of the gods and Master of all dominion! … save [me] by Your Hand, and help me, who am alone and have no helper but You, O Lord.”

I have recently experienced an unexpected unfortunate circumstance. While many people around me offer kind words of comfort and advice, I have fled to the Lord. I have no other Helper but Him. I feel slightly alone as I walk through the initial phase of this life-changing experience.

I firmly believe God did not give me this situation to make me a better person, or because I deserved it, or for any other reason. I believe it simply happened—difficult things happen to good people. If I choose to believe I have no Helper but Him, I actually feel thankful for what is happening. While God didn’t make this situation happen to me, He is giving me the chance (as a result of it) to walk the walk of the talk I have been talking for so long. Since I profess to know God as “King of the gods,” I now have the opportunity to authenticate my faith, digging deep to hold on to who I say He is as “Master of all dominion” (which includes dominion over my life).

I’m not sugar-coating my circumstance or wrapping it up in a big pretty bow, pretending it is something different from what it is. Rather, I acknowledge I am in the midst of a trying time, so I flee to Him, actively seeking Him and crying out for Him to “make yourself known in this time of [my] affliction.” I choose to accept His saving Hand, His help, and His presence in the midst of my situation.

In her time of great need, Esther did not hesitate to call out to God and ask for His saving help. In my time of great need, I am compelled to follow Esther’s example and call out to our Lord, acknowledging Him as the source of my help, courage, and comfort.


Appointed readings for today: Ezekiel 18:21-28, Psalm 130, Matthew 5:20-26


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