Have you ever felt painted in a corner by the purposes of God? I have. You might not use that phrasing, but you may know the pressure of feeling there is no way around His plan. I usually welcome His directions.
But sometimes my broad brush strokes of excuses become an unsightly mess. It is not a happy corner. Here’s my current dilemma.
I’ve recently completed a project but I’ve not completed His assignment. The project involved writing an article. But the assignment is incomplete until I release the words to the space God intends.
Are you feeling the pressure of a task, a talk or a choice you’ve made?
Is there something you need to release to fulfill what God desires?
As I looked to Him for mercy and guidance, He pointed me to the book of Esther. I see the “painted in a corner” theme repeated throughout these passages of scripture.
Esther knew what it was like to live life with limited options. She was orphaned when she was young and raised by her older cousin, Mordecai. When the king was looking for a new queen, she became an involuntary contestant in a royal beauty pageant. Her beauty allowed her to coast into the winner’s circle. However, as Mordecai angered the king’s top aide, Esther found herself in an unwanted spotlight.
As the top aide plotted to annihilate all of Israel, Esther realized she had one option left – to appeal to the king to spare the lives of her people. And yet, the painting of this story was nowhere near dry when Mordecai and Esther had a fateful conversation. Mordecai sent Esther this message,
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
What are you positioned to do in the plan of God? Our role may be spouse, parent, friend or ________. But our part is uniquely written by Him. What happens if we remain silent or inactive in response to His call?
Esther’s response was “…if I perish, I perish.” (4:16) I believe no cost was too high for her because she knew no problem was too hard for God. Esther knew she wasn’t in her corner alone and neither are you and I.
And yet, it is hard for me to embrace my purpose for “such a time as this,” if I am always distracted by that. “That” can be many things. But that failure, that fear, that hurt or that hater has no power compared to this truth: With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
Esther took all of her pressure and pressed into the presence of God. I’m doing the same as I submit my article. Otherwise, my emotions become a distraction. And when distractions steal our attention, our true purpose stays in the background.
But as God’s grace comes to the forefront, we can see something greater: The cares of this life can become a hindrance to living with purpose or the cares of this life can become a catalyst for living out purpose.
Whatever cares are pressing us into a corner, with Christ the only way out is up. The pathway is our obedience. For if we remain silent, “relief and deliverance” will arise from another place and we’ll miss the privilege of participating in His plan. It is an open invitation to anyone who is willing to trust Him and receive hope for the heart and joy to the soul.
“I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.” – Psalm 57:2