New Lessons from Esther

I’ve been teaching Esther in our young ladies’ Bible class. My favorite thing about teaching is how much I learn in the process. The past few weeks have been no exception. If you aren’t familiar with this short book of the Bible, it is an easy read. This historical account of the time of King Xerxes’s rule of the Persian empire is full of action and drama. So many lessons can be drawn from its ten chapters. Our class covered modesty, bullying, anger, obedience, and standing up for what is right.

Today, we covered the big one: Providence. This book never mentions the name of God, yet He is there, throughout the story. In my study, I learned that this book was circulated throughout the Persian Empire. The Jews would have recognized the hand of God in the story. The style of writing used was familiar to the exiles, rather than their captors. 

Puzzling Pieces

Whatever you may be going through now is merely a piece of your life. Imagine a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes we can’t immediately see how the pieces fit together. We turn the same piece over and around, trying it in different places until finally, it comes together. Life is no different. Sometimes it seems that everything is going wrong, nothing is falling into place, and you just plain don’t fit. Then one day, you look back and see the beautiful image those pieces made when put together in the right way at the right time. That’s Providence. That’s God.

So many Pieces! It looks like a mess, but maybe it’s the beginning of something beautiful, beyond imagination

What can you do in the difficulty? The best way to start a puzzle is to find all the edge pieces. In our lives, we need boundaries. Healthy boundaries for what we will and won’t allow in our relationships, help us build a better picture with the many seemingly broken pieces. Whatever you may be facing at this moment is temporary. You can always choose to create a better outcome. It isn’t likely to be easy, but it is possible. You may have to make big changes to implement healthy boundaries: leaving an unhealthy relationship, a negative work situation, or moving away from your current home. You may have to give up your current lifestyle and rebuild. When that happens, the pieces may not fit the first place you try. You may even have to take several pieces apart to fit everything back together. 

Everyone’s puzzle is different. We each have a story to tell, a unique tapestry representing our journey. Celebrate when the pieces fit together. Share your successes with those who will cheer you onward! Whatever you face, someone is watching. How you act and react creates a ripple effect on those around you. Will you inspire or discourage? What kind of waves will you make?

Esther 4:14, my favorite verse of the book, and the central theme.

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