Goodness, I am sitting here trying to put the whole conference together in a few short paragraphs and am struggling so much! Bear with me. I may exceed my word count for today, but I promise it will be well worth your time.
I'll begin by sharing a few points I brought up to the women last weekend. It was on my heart to encourage and I feel impressed to share with you too.
In the book of Esther many of us are familiar with the latter part of chapter four, verse fourteen, "...and who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?" as Mordecai implores Esther to take on the potentially deadly task of appealing to the King - in the hopes that the Jews will not be slaughtered.
We are familiar with that part of scripture above, but do you know the words before that fateful line? Here is the whole verse below.
"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 royal position for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14
I want to focus for a minute on the first line back there, "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place..." God has a plan. He really doesn't need us for His plan. As much as we think He does, He really doesn't. In this verse above Mordecai tells Esther she has a choice. She can remain silent or she can petition the King. If her fear holds her back from this task, God WILL find another He can use to deliver her people. It's as simple as that. If we are not willing, God WILL find another to fulfill His plan.
I LOVE to bake cookies. I have been baking cookies for thirty plus years, so I really don't need any help. But, when my daughter Grace drags a chair over to where I'm baking my heart fills with joy. You see, I actually make a much better cookie if she isn't underfoot. And to be honest with you, I always have to clean up her messes.
BUT, to watch her learning to bake cookies, to be a part of teaching her and having her close beside me as we work together, making memories and growing in our relationship, goodness, there isn't anything better than that. You see girls, God feels the same way about us. He doesn't need us to fulfill His good works here on earth, but He loves us so much He desires us to play a part. He wants us close beside Him as His plans unfold.
The Lord desires we offer ourselves to be willing participants for His plan for our lives. But, always the gentleman He never forces us to do anything we don't want to do.
I don't know about you, but I am jumping up and down with my arms raised in the air. I'm shouting out to the Lord, "Pick me! Pick me!" I want to experience every single thing He has in store for my life. Every good work He created me for- I want to experience. He has promised me an abundant life in Him, and I am holding Him to His Word!
Friends, I don't want to remain silent. I don't want fear to hold me back from all He has for me. That's one of the reasons I got on a plane last week and was launched like a rocket across our beautiful U.S. of A. to Florida. In the past two years I have begun saying "YES" to God and my life hasn't been the same.
My prayer is that by the time He takes me home, I will run into His embrace completely poured out and exhausted. Wiping away my very last tear, He will turn me around and wave his arm towards my eternal reward and whisper, "All of your trials, all of your pain, all of your work...you were faithful to Me for such a time as this."