Slaying the Giant of Fear
Unless God Intervenes...
Have you ever been in a position where it truly was a "Unless God intervenes" kind of a moment? Unless God intervenes, things are headed in a bad direction. Maybe they're headed there slowly in a train wreck sort of way. Unless God intervenes...
Sometimes God intervenes before you even know what the need is. Almost a year ago (in March), my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (the rare version of what we understand to be diabetes). I was experiencing the train wreck. I experienced the stress of realizing my son has a terminal condition... unless God intervened. And He had. God had intervened by making insulin available. Did you know that the discovery of insulin is a relatively new thing? I can't help but praise God for that discovery. Insulin doesn't cure my son, but it helps him be healthy until a cure is found. And honestly... any day where my child is on this planet, happy, healthy, and thriving, is a day I will never undervalue!
With my son's diagnosis, we've had many moments of "we shouldn't be having this." We shouldn't be celebrating his sixth birthday... but God! We shouldn't be starting school, experiencing losing teeth. We should be missing out on these momentous occasions simply because type 1 had been a death sentence... but God and the discovery of insulin!
Unless God intervenes. Such a scary position to be in, don't you agree? It's uncomfortable. It's scary. Sometimes the reality of the direction life is taking is far too much to bear. Overwhelming doesn't cut it!
Read Esther 4:13-17
The Jewish people were definitely experiencing an uncomfortable and scary moment in time. They were handed a death sentence, literally. All because one man had gotten offended, gotten jealous, and had decided to take matters into his own hands. He had convinced the king to kill the Jewish people.
Upon hearing the Jews, the Jewish people were thrown into mourning. They wore sackcloth and ashes to prove it. At this point, they truly were in a place of "Unless God intervenes..." Unless God intervened, they would be killed.
Mordecai brought this news to Queen Esther's attention (side note: Seems a little gutsy to sentence the queen to death, doesn't it?). That's what we're reading in Esther 4:13-17. Mordecai brings this news to Esther and he knows that she is their last hope. The Jewish people needed Esther to approach the king (which could also result in her death) and have her beg the kind for favor for her people.
Here's the thing about the giant of fear. Royal status, riches, and beauty didn't protect Esther from fear. So often we think that if we had more money, more status, more beauty, more, more, more that somehow we will be protected from the fear, but that's not true. Nothing protects us from fear.
But do you notice? Esther didn't react rashly. Instead, she fasted and prayed (and asked the same of her people) BEFORE she approached the king. She first went to the King of Kings before going to her husband, the king.
This, my friend, is how you and I can defeat the giant of fear.
Esther knew where to find her strength. She knew where to find peace. She knew where she should go to find the help she needed to defeat the giant of fear. Another thing, she also directed her people to turn to their source to fight their own giants of fear.
They turned to God together.
There is something so sweet about this. They turned to God together. They lifted up their need to their God. They sought Him for answers, for direction, for strength, and for peace. In lifting up their nation, He stood there in their midst.
Don’t you call on your friends and family to pray when you’re overwhelmed, afraid, and unsure of what the next step is? God is your strength in the midst of scary. He’s your peace in the midst of the frightening. He is there in your midst as your need is brought before Him. Like Esther, like the Jewish people, like you and me… none of us were ever alone when we face that giant of fear.
Strength to face and fight the giant of fear is found only in God. What I love about Esther is that she didn’t blow into the king’s presence like a freight train. She didn’t approach him full of emotion and fear. Do you notice that? She approached him with peace and grace. Two words that are NEVER associated with fear! Would you have ever expected peace and grace to be apart of her countenance when she was facing a death sentence “unless God intervened”? We would expect the fear. We would expect her to fall before Him, begging for her life. Instead, she gracefully (and with peace) invited the king and her enemy to a banquet.
Her time spent seeking God had given her the strength and peace to approach the king with the right countenance, the right tone of her words, the right heart attitude to gracefully extend that invitation. That invitation was pretty unexpected and full of wisdom, don’t you think?
Here’s another thing to notice: True peace is only found in God. She didn’t fake peace as she approached the king, uninvited (TWICE!). She didn’t fake peace when she asked for the king’s favor on her people. She approached a stressful situation with peace and confidence straight from the throne room of God.
Guess what? That same peace and confidence is available for you and I. Whatever our “Unless God Intervenes…” situation we find ourselves in, approach the throne room of God. Ask for His strength, His peace, and His confidence to face our giant of fear. Just like He was faithful to His people and to Esther all those years ago, He’s just as faithful to us today!
From Esther’s story, what part stood out to you the most? What is God speaking to you?
Note: To gain a better understanding of Esther’s story, be sure to read Esther 1-10.