Do you remember when you were a kid and there was something you really wanted, but were afraid to ask your mom or dad for it because you feared they might say no? Instead you decided it was better live with the prospect that one day you might get it, than to risk being denied.
I remember having lunch with one of my co-workers a number of years ago and out of the blue he told me he thought…no, he knew that his wife was having an affair. My first thought was that this was more information than I wanted but it was apparent that he wanted to unload. After listening to him for more than an hour, first blaming his wife and then himself, I asked the obvious question, “What did she have to say when you confronted her about it?” His response surprised me, “I haven’t spoken to her about it… I’m afraid of how she might react.” He went on to tell me that he was afraid that if he confronted her, she might walk out on him, and besides there was their two young children to consider. I then asked, “So what’s the plan, surely you don’t think it will all just work out and the issue will just fade away without consequences?” He replied, “I hope so, I really hope so.” Within a month his wife left him but not for the “other man” (so she said) but because he didn’t care enough about her and their marriage to confront her and be willing to fight for her.
Then there was the young man sitting in the lobby of a hospital fearing that he would be admitted into their substance abuse program. He was just sitting there waiting where his mother had dropped him off. He told me that he knew he could not go on the way he was going and expect to see 30. So what was holding him back…was it money…friends or maybe the possible embarrassment? No, it was the pain and anguish he knew would be his to bear. You see he knew others who had gone through it and they told him about the pain and to make matters worse, within months, even weeks, they were back to where they started…addicted and wanting nothing more than real hope, a way out. The young man asked me, “Is there another way, there must be?”
Each of these accounts, with the exception of the one where I wanted my folks to buy me a Mattel Fanner 50, share a common theme: fear, desperation and a lack of hope. The fear prevented them from thinking clearly which led to desperation and any hope they may have seen on the horizon was only a mirage or if it was real, it was just out of reach. This could have been the case for our hero and heroine in the book of Esther, Mordecai and his cousin Esther. But it wasn’t and why not? It was because they shared a faith that gave them courage beyond their own abilities and a firm belief in the provision and goodness of God. They believed that God was in ultimate control and if they were willing to place their trust in Him, without reservation, then whatever might befall them, it was His will. That in the end it would be for their individual good and the good of their people, God’s people, Israel.
Peter describes how a Christian should approach any such perilous and troubling situations, “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have (1Peter 3: 14-15).” In Christ, any fear, desperation and hopelessness becomes lost in the love of God. I can testify to “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,” because I have seen it and lived in it, can you? (2Corinthians 13:14)
Tool #352 You can be the conduit for courage, confidence and hope to your family and anyone God puts in your way. Just be prepared to give an answer.