Today’s reading of the Story begins on page 288 “Mordecai recorded these events,…” and ends on page 289. If you are reading in the bible, read Esther 9:20-28.
If you hadn’t read THIS part of God’s Story, the story of Esther, would you have predicted this is how it would have ended?
Esther 9:2-3 (NIV) 2 The Jews assembled in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes to attack those seeking their destruction. No one could stand against them, because the people of all the other nationalities were afraid of them. 3 And all the nobles of the provinces, the satraps, the governors and the king’s administrators helped the Jews, because fear of Mordecai had seized them.
Arthur Gordon shares a wonderful, intimate story of his own spiritual renewal at a time in his life when he began to feel that everything was stale and flat. As his enthusiasm waned, his writing efforts were worthless. As his emotional situation grew worse day by day, he sought the help of a doctor. When his doctor found nothing physically wrong, he prescribed that he follow his instructions precisely for one day – tomorrow.
Directions – Go to the place where he was happiest as a child. He could take food, but he was not to talk to anyone or read or write or listen to the radio. Gordon went to the beach.
Prescription #1 – As he opened the first prescription at 9am, he read, “Listen carefully.” He thought the doctor was insane. How could he listen for three hours? But he had agreed to follow the doctor’s orders, so he listened. He heard the usual beach sounds of the sea and the birds. After a while, he could hear the other sounds that weren’t so apparent at first. As he listened, he began to think of lessons the sea had taught him as a child—patience, respect, an awareness of the interdependence of things. He began to listen to the sounds—and the silence—and began to feel a growing peace.
Prescription #2 – At noon, he opened the second slip of paper and read, “Try reaching back.” “Reaching back to what?” he wondered. Perhaps to childhood, perhaps to memories of happy times. He thought about his past, about the many little moments of joy. He tried to remember them with exactness. And in remembering, he found a growing warmth inside.
Prescription #3 – At three o’clock, he opened the third piece of paper. Until now, the prescriptions had motives been easy to take and fill. But this one was different; it said, “Examine your motives.” At first he was defensive. He thought about what he wanted—success, recognition, security— and he justified them all. But then the thought occurred to him that those motives weren’t good enough, and that perhaps therein was the answer to his stagnant situation. He considered his motives deeply. He thought about past happiness. And at last, the answer came to him. “In a flash of certainty,” he wrote, “I saw that if one’s motives are wrong, nothing can be right. It makes no difference whether you are a mailman, a hairdresser, an insurance salesman, a housewife, whatever. As long as you feel you are serving others, you do the job well. When you are concerned only with helping yourself, you do it less well—a law as unstoppable as the law of gravity.”
Prescription #4 When six o’clock came, the final prescription didn’t take long to fill. “Write your worries on the sand,” it said. He knelt and wrote several words with a piece of broken shell; then he turned and walked away. He didn’t look back; he knew the tide would come in.
As you live your life in Christ, remember there is a perpetual tide that comes in. If we by faith in Jesus we trust His all-availing sacrifice for us; we, with repentant hearts and in the joy of our salvation, with thankful hearts, write our troubles and worries in the sand and the edge of the shoreline for we know that God our Father has forgiven our sins for Christ’s sake.
Are you worried? Are you sick over some trouble? Then, in the morning, get up, get dressed and head for God’s house. When the opportunity presents itself:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Father, we live in a world where troubles and difficulties seem to outweigh our blessings and happiness. Help us, Holy Spirit, to repent and turn to our Father so that our sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come in Jesus name. Amen.