I’m teaching the book of Esther in Sunday School. We’re following the Beth Moore series, and like everything she writes, I absolutely love it. Things that previously hid on the page suddenly awaken, and I feel like I’m living through the book. When I finish one of her series, I feel like I have known this book. Devoured it. Lived it. Cherished it. Digested it. Understood it. Known it intimately.
And it blesses me.
It’s tough to teach every week on the things I’m weakest at. It’s quite convenient that I’m so flawed, because it provides many good examples to my class of what NOT to do. Last week I taught on being brave. Esther, in chapter 4, does some soul searching and decides that she will risk her life to face the king and ask him to save her people. The pivotal moment, and something I have meditated on ever since… “And if I perish, I perish.”
I’m nothing like Esther. I’m a huge weenie. An old-fashioned scaredy cat. It’s quite embarrassing. I’m not much of a risk taker, and I waste tons of valuable time and energy fretting over the future, fretting over the present, fretting over the past… wondering if I will do the right thing, if I missed doing the right thing, if I even know what the right thing is. I’m my own worst enemy.
So I love this quote: “She (Esther) had to overcome herself in order to do what God had created her and positioned her to do.” – Dr. Karen Jobes, The NIV Application Commentary.
I love that, because I tend to get in my own way. I let that yucky, nagging fear slow me down. My fear that manifests itself as a stomachache. A pounding in my chest. An inability to sleep. And it’s nothing I can change on my own. Which is why I have quoted these verses over the past few weeks over and over… and over.
1 Corinthians 2:9—“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Psalm 138:8 – “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me…”
1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…”
John 10:10—“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Did you know that the most common command in the whole Bible is this?: Do not be afraid.
The Proverbs 31 woman… the same one that every Christian woman has tried to become (and that I can never seem to measure up to), was described as a wife of “noble character” (v. 10). That same Hebrew word for “noble” is also translated “valor.” An army term that means “brave.” Heroic courage. Bold in the face of danger. So really, this verse could say, “A brave, courageous wife, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.”
I want to be brave.
Beth Moore said this: “You may be one brave decision away from the most important turn in your entire path.”
My heart may still pound. My stomach may still hurt. But I can claim these verses as truth until they start to feel that way.