Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Uprooted

There are times we don’t get the luxury of simply being Misplaced. Sometimes our lives are completely ripped out from under us. A few words spoken or unexpected events can forever alter our life.

There’s been an accident.
We’re forced to lay off employees.
I don’t love you anymore.
The tumor is malignant.

It hurts to have our lives ripped apart. Alot! So many of us have heard words that changed our life forever. Those times can seem so pointless and more dead than alive. Whether we see it coming or are caught totally unprepared, at least in our mind, the result is the same. Pain.

God, where are you?
Don't you see I'm hurting?

I sat with a friend recently and listened to the fresh raw wounds of life getting ripped apart. I felt utterly inadequate except for my ability to say, I know. I've been down this road. I'm a long way beyond one round of being ripped apart. I can see the past without pain. Don't get me wrong. It was hard. But, can I stop my friend's pain? I can stay beside her but honestly, I wouldn't want to stop the hard journey she is just beginning. You see, there is a master and a masterpiece involved.
God, what is going on?
Can't you take this away?
Stick it out. Believe it or not, God does have a purpose. He does not abandon. He is rolling up his sleeves, picking up his sculpting tool and shaping another part of his masterpiece. You. Me. Yeah, masterpieces.


Ok God, but what can I do?
I have no idea, help!

Esther was ripped from her life. Twice. As a young girl, both her parents died and she had to live with her uncle, Mordecai. Think of the loneliness and fear she must have faced. Then as a young woman, Esther was taken from her home to the palace and thrown into the pool of candidates to become queen. I don't care what fairytale stories you can tell me, this does not sound like the makings of one. She was a Jew in a foreign and intimidating place where failure meant she was ruined for life. Talk about pressure. Well, the princess became a queen, but instead of a fairytale ending, her real challenges were just around the corner. Her people were threatened with extermination.

Now what?
Are you kidding me, God?

It is so easy to respond to pain by flinging "how come" and "why me" at God. Esther's situation was not going to change. There was no going back. Her life was ripped apart and it was moving on with or without her. How did she respond? Esther trusted God. She did have fear, but despite fear she was obedient and never compromised her faith.

What did God do for Esther? LOTS! He was preparing her for the biggest job of her life-to stand in the midst of attack and help God save a nation! WOW! Do we have something incredible like that in us? Maybe not that big, but I bet we do have something special we can do for God. But let's get back to how He prepared Esther.
  • God gave Mordecai as a protector. He raised Esther as his own and taught her about faith and God.
  • God placed Mordecai in the palace before Esther. Its like God going before her. God established Mordecai there so he knew the King's ways and laws. This enabled him to give Esther wise advise.
  • God gave Esther strength and encouragement through Mordecai. He knew God and he understood Esther. When Esther waivered afraid to talk to the King, Mordecai bolstered her resolve.

The ripped apart, ugliness of growing up prepared Esther better than anything. Uprooting prepares us too. I learn from Esther that God not only prepares us to be uprooted, he prepares ways to thrive while we are taking root and putting on new growth. God gives relationships to bring us through hard times and encourage us to grow. God both is and gives us protectors. He goes before us. He gives us strength and encouragement.

As I pray for my friend, I pray that this encouraging relationship will flourish. As I look at my next go around at getting uprooted, I want to take the lessons from Esther and do something special for God.

2 comments:

Tami Boesiger said...

Really good post, Linda. God protects, prepares, strengthens and encourages, and then uses the pain for others. This post is proof.

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