Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It is all in the attitude

This past week I have been studying the book of Esther. I had read her story before. The great one liner, "maybe you were put into this position for such a time as this" is the thing that stuck with me way back then. (Esther 4:14) When I started this study last week... I really didn't think that there were any "new" nuggets to take with me. To be perfectly honest... I was just killing time until I start my next Bible study. ( and yes... it is a Beth Moore study) And gee... that was maybe too honest. but anyway...

As I skimmed over Chapter 2, the author of the study pointed out that Esther knew what it was like to be put into situations and circumstances that were beyond her control. I thought, "what circumstances beyond her control?", "She seemed to be in control in the story that I remember". Well... as I looked back and searched out things that happened to Esther that were out of her control... I found several.

Her parents both passed away leaving her an orphan.
She was placed into the Kings harem (without her consent) making her a captive.
She won the Kings favor and had to be moved to a new place above the others in the harem...
causing even more displacement in life and probably resentment from others.
She was forced to hide who she really was in obedience to what her uncle asked her to do.
She was subjected to 12 months of beauty treatments before she could go into the King's
presence. (okay... well maybe the thought of 12 months of beauty treatments isn't all that
bad... but I imagine that they were if they involved exercise for all that time.) Yuck!
She was sent to spend the night with the King (again without her consent).
Even after she won his favor and he made her queen... verse 19 tells us that they
assembled more virgins for the King. Now... she would have to share her husband.

Esther did find herself in numerous situations that she did not ask for, nor would she have wanted. Sounds a lot like us, huh? At least it sounds a lot like me. I don't always like the situation that I am in. I don't like the fact that my husband has lost even more income. I don't want to have to work so much extra. I don't want to send my children back to school next year. I don't want to have to give up some of the luxuries that we have. But...

I looked at the way that Esther handled herself in these situations. I learned about her character by the choices that she made. Esther chose to have a good attitude, to be submissive to her uncle's request, to do what was required of her... and when the time came to make decisions, she choose to fast and seek God's empowerment. Then... she submitted to God's will. She even said, "If I perish, I perish".

I want to be like that. Knowing that God sees the end of the story... knowing that God has a purpose in all that we go through... knowing that my attitude can make all the difference in the world... I want to be like Esther. Put into circumstances that I would not have chosen... I want to be God's girl... I want to allow God to work through my obedience to Him. I want to be a part of God's plan... working with Him, not against Him. In the end... I will look in triumph over my foes.

Psalm 112:7-8
He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear:
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

We all have to go through things that we don't ask for... we all have to make decisions as to how we will respond. I think that I can learn a lot from Esther... it is all in the attitude.

post signature

6 comments:

Amanda said...

Lynn, LOVE this!

I'm reading Chuck Swindol's book on Esther! I'm loving all he can point out about her. Loved reading what you shared here! And AMEN!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm in a situation right now with my young son (7). I told my mother today that the frustrating element in it all is that I have little control in the matter. I can only control how I choose to respond, and unfortunately my responses are all too often based within my need to control. Vicious cycle. Can't control...want to control and on and on until I finally give up and let go.

Wish I would get to that conclusion sooner rather than wasting the emotional energy along the way.

Thanks for your thoughts. By the way, what Beth Moore are you doing next? Her Esther is coming out in November...I think.

peace~elaine

My cup runneth over... said...

Wow...Esther is one of those biblical figures I've always wanted to learn more about. What a humility, what submission, what an example! There is much to be taken from this. Thank you! You've increased my desire to learn even more about this amazing woman of faith. = )

P.S. Had to giggle in your first paragraph about killing time until your next "Beth" study. Here's something else you can do, not that I'm advocating Hero worship, mind you...; ) Every Wednesday (very early am in my part of the country) she teaches on Life Today with James and Betty Robison. On their site (http://www.lifetoday.org/site/PageServer?pagename=bth_media), you can find and listen to many of the sermons...not quite in their entirety, but generally 70-80% of them and you know Beth...packed with spiritual gems. Grab your Bible, some notebook paper and log on... = )

Blessings,
Tracy

Amy said...

Lynn, that was powerful!

So much to learn from the life of a woman who lived so long ago.

You are so right about it all being in the attitude.....I so long to have a consistent attitude with the situations I find myself in.....I would love to say I handle everything so graciously and gratefully, but that would not be true. Sometimes are definitely better than others....Most of the time I throw a spiritual "temper tantrum," then when I finally settle down, I listen to God, and try it His way.....I so long for the time in my life where I "skip" the temper tantrum and just go straight to obedience and a Godly attitude.

Thank you for this today....It has given me much to ponder.

God Bless,
Amy:)

Regina said...

That was a really good post. One of my most recent prayers for myself is that God would give me "new nuggets" from His word. I want to learn and understand more than I ever have.

Thanks for sharing.

Amanda said...

Man, God is really speaking to you lately. All three of your posts were rich with wisdom this morning. I enjoyed reading them and they served as a great small devotion this morning before heading off to worship at the church.