November 11, 2008
“Then Esther sent this message to Mordecai:
’Go and gather together all the Jews of Shushan and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day; and I and my maids will do the same; and then, though it is strictly forbidden, I will go in to see the king; and if I perish, I perish.’”
Esther 4:15-16 (TLB)
“Are you afraid of snakes?” my friend’s son asked with a smirk.
I felt a surge of fear at the question. Then I noticed his hands hidden below the kitchen counter. I swallowed hard as I realized he probably held a snake in his twelve-year-old hands.
What if I answered, “Yes”?
What if, he tossed it in my lap to watch my horrified reaction?
“Not much,” I answered.
Sure enough, he came around the corner holding a wiggly, white and orange snake.
However, my answer had clearly deflated his mischievous intentions. He brought the harmless critter closer but held it tightly in his hands. Bored with the result, he left the room with the snake in tow to find a different surprised soul with a phobia of snakes. I breathed a sigh of relief and unclenched my sweaty palms.
Don’t we often react in the same manner with God? We fear that if we decide to trust Him, He will allow something horrible in our lives. We ask ourselves all sorts of fear-filled questions. What if God sends me to be missionary in a remote country? What if I get cancer? What if He wants me to live a life of poverty? What if He takes one of my children? What if He desires I stay single? What if? What if? What if?
An ancient queen, Esther, faced a tremendous “what if” in her life. She was called upon to stand up to an evil man, Haman, at the risk of losing her life. At first, she reacted with a stout refusal. But her cousin Mordecai challenged her with these words, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 NLT). Esther overcame her fear and responded with the words found in our Key Verse, “though it is strictly forbidden, I will go in to see the king; and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:15-16 TLB).
I want that kind of courage. I desire to have God’s Spirit to overcome all my “what if” fears. I desire to trust Him in every area of my life. Whether it is in overcoming a fear of a silly, wiggly snake or a terrible, malevolent tyrant, I need His peace in my life.
Dear Lord, help me to overcome my fears of “what if” and to trust in Your divine purpose in my life. Give me Your peace when my fears rise up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
This devotion is excerpted from Birds in My Mustard Tree by Susanne Scheppmann.
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst
List the “what ifs” that you fear. Browse through your Bible concordance to find Scriptures that will help combat your fears.
Are my “what ifs” a result of needless worry or a likely reality?
How can I push through my fear?
Do I trust the Lord’s sovereign will in my life?
Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)
Daniel 3:17-18, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (NIV)
[Excerpt © Randall House Publishing, 2008. Used by permission.]
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 11 November 2008.