Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went through the city, wailing with a loud and bitter cry; he went up to the entrance of the king’s gate, for no one might enter the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth. In every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and most of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.
When Esther’s maids and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen was deeply distressed; she sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth; but he would not accept them. Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs, who had been appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what was happening and why. Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate, and Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. Mordecai also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for their destruction, that he might show it to Esther, explain it to her, and charge her to go to the king to make supplication to him and entreat him for her people.
Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said. Then Esther spoke to Hathach and gave him a message for Mordecai, saying, “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—all alike are to be put to death. Only if the king holds out the golden scepter to someone, may that person live. I myself have not been called to come in to the king for thirty days.” When they told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.” Then Esther said in reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will also fast as you do. After that I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.
Bad news. We’ve all gotten it. We hear about it through media. Wildfires in California, floods in Texas, and tornados in Oklahoma are some examples. On a more personal level, “the test results are back” are words that grip the heart and make breathing difficult.
Shock, sadness and compassion are feelings that come as a result of hearing about the pain and suffering of others. However, when it threatens us or those we love, it bears the additional burden of fear.
In the passage from the Book of Esther, the Jews were afraid for their very lives. They went into mourning, and Mordecai joined them. At first Esther did not know why Mordecai was mourning, so she sent him clothes. Once she found out about the planned demise of the Jewish people, she seemed to hope that she wouldn’t need to get involved. Mordecai quickly reminded her that if she did not do something to help her people, she and her family would suffer. He made it personal. He also reminded her that God was still in charge.
Bad things happen that threaten to immobilize us, but if we choose to listen to God’s voice we can move forward in faith rather than fear.
Lord, when I am afraid, help me to listen to your voice. Fill me with your peace and remind me that you are still in charge of the world, my world, and my life. Show me what to do and help me to do it even why I am afraid. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Go with God.