For Such a Time as This

by: Joan Meyler

Are you born for such a time as this? That was the question Esther had to answer at a most inconvenient time.  Its answer could have her killed yet answer it she must. The book of Esther tells us that Esther’s people, generations before her had been taken captive in war and moved from their homeland.

In their new home they were forbidden to speak their original language or practice their religion.  Over the ensuing years, the Jews had just about given up on God as each generation moved further away from their religion accepting instead the behaviors of those they lived among.  They were remembered by their racial identity not their religious beliefs or practices and in time, they eventually forgot who they were.  Except that is, a few faithful souls.

Esther’s family was among the faithful. Esther was an orphan. As was customary during that time, she was adopted by her uncle who raised her and taught her who she was.  Esther came to the king’s attention as he sought to replace the previous queen, Vashti. Vashti had defied the king when he, drunk after extensive partying, had called her to present herself to be admired by his friends.  Vashti, not wanting to be paraded naked before these drunk men had refused. The king in his embarrassment and anger decreed that she should be “put away” and be replaced by a new queen. This decree led to Esther’s introduction to life in the palace and she was soon made queen.

Esther was a Jew. A descendant of immigrants, a people who had been forcibly removed from their homeland. A queen.

The culture she lived in had no love for either Jews or descendants of immigrants.  Over time, those who had the king’s ear had convinced him that these persons were no longer of value to the kingdom and needed to be removed (killed) and all their possessions taken. Living in the palace, Esther thought she could, would, escape this destruction until she was reminded that God knew who she was and so did she.

We live in a time not much different from Esther’s time.  Some of us have become complacent; worldly, forgotten God. Until we are faced with crisis of some kind. Even then, we think these challenges belong to other people.  We pretend not to see the homeless person begging on the street; we step pass the mentally ill on our way to satisfy our ego; social injustice we often think affects others. Yet God in His infinite wisdom uses these moments of crises to remind us that if we are who we say we are and respond to these challenging times with the tools He has given us, He will hear, and He will answer (2 chronicles 7:14).

Just as Esther denied her ego and submitted to the Spirit of God and in so doing, kept her people from being destroyed, we too are being called upon to experience the fresh wind of God’s spirit as we become who we are intended to be. (Philippians 2:15).  Is God whispering in your ear that it is time for you to break your silence?  Were you born for such a time as this?

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The Mosaic

by: Joan Meyler

Last Summer I had occasion to visit Morocco. One of the things my companions and I did was to visit a place where pottery and mosaics were made.  In this artisan market, white clay was being used to fashion bowls, plates, everyday utensils as well as decorative items for the home. I was amazed by this process as I watched artisans take lumps of clay and turn them into items ranging from simple containers to the most delicate and ornate objects I had ever seen.

As I moved from one area of this market to another, I came upon an artisan creating a mosaic.  I was amazed to see that these designs were created upside down! The artist created a masterpiece by looking only at the back. The part that was without color or pattern. It was only when the object was completed that anyone saw the front!

“How could this be?” I pondered.  “How could this magnificent work of art be created without looking at the design as it was being created? Why not monitor his progress along the way?”

I was told,” the artist learned the craft as a small child so he instinctively knew how his creation should look.”

“But what if it when he looked at the finished product it was not what he had envisioned?” I further questioned my guide.

“At that point, the piece is broken and put back through the process until it becomes what the artist envisioned,” she said.

Mosiac

This resonated with me. It occurred to me that just as the artist was creating what would be considered a masterpiece at its completion, so are we fashioning a masterpiece with our lives.  We learn from our guides and teachers to create a life we envision (Proverbs 22:6) Each tile placed in the object represents a choice made in our lives. At the time you made the choice, you had no idea the effect it would have on your life or the lives of others. Some effects were as you desired, others were not.  They forced you to reconsider (repent) and seek help in correcting the offense.  Just as the artist must destroy the offending piece, so must we see the flaw in ourselves, our relationships and correct it through repentance.

Repentance is painful. It forces us to look at the ugly parts of our souls and admit that we know less than we thought; are less than we believed and cannot change ourselves on our own.  We must submit to the one who makes all things new and be willing to allow ourselves to reflect His handiwork.  Our relationship with the Divine Artist allows us to be remade into the perfect piece for the place we hold in His kingdom here on earth.

What would you like the mosaic of your life to look? What do you need to do to make it so?