If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
I looked at Judy and said, “We shouldn’t be here.” I know when you normally hear those words you are at a movie and a couple of teenagers are standing in a cemetery at midnight with a full moon with a wolf howling and a guy with a chainsaw standing a few feet away. That was not the case.
So, as you know we live in a world of cancellations. Vacation. Cancelled. Conference number one. Cancelled. Conference number two. Cancelled. In an attempt to get some refreshment I went ahead and registered for conference number three. About ten days before it started they called and said due to state regulations (North Carolina this time) they were having to dramatically reduce the number of attendees—from 400 to 110. Judy and I didn’t make the cut…by a long shot. We registered in early April and they were cancelling all the way back to December of 2019.
I had gotten used to the rejection notices by now. Like a struggling actor or writer it seemed nothing was going my way. So, after my normal foot stomping, “this is crazy” and the all time favorite, “when will it ever be normal” I settled back into life…desperately needing a fresh drink of water from the well. Then it happened.
Less than a week before the conference was to start I received a phone call on my Dick Tracy Apple watch. I checked the caller ID and it was the conference center. I ran to the kitchen to get my phone, answered, waiting to see what they wanted. She told me that they had been allowed to open an overflow room and would we be interested in coming? If I could speak ten languages I would have said yes in all ten.
So we arrived at the conference and this is when it got interesting. The people in the main auditorium (and there were only 110 of them—normal attendance is 400) had white name tags and the ones in the overflow had tan name tags. We received our tan tags and waited for supper. I began to notice that there were not many tan tags. How interesting. When it was time for the conference to start, the white taggers headed to the main room and tan taggers headed upstairs to the overflow area. And that was the turning point.
In this room meant to hold 150 people there were 28 of us. Blue covers draped over the back of 28 chairs showed where we could sit. It turns out I was member of a pretty, small select group. Totally attendance was only 138 people and somehow I was one of them. Keep in mind all those people who made reservations before April were in front of me in line and somehow, some way we were here. That’s when I said to Judy, “We shouldn’t be here.”
The topic for the conference was about rebuilding the church in a post quarantine world. One of the first things he said was that perhaps each of you are here for a specific reason. He then told the story of a young Jewish girl who, against all odds, found herself as queen in a foreign land. A plan had been hatched to kill all of the Jews in the land and her uncle was asking her to go the king on the Jews behalf. He said, “Perhaps for such a time as this God has put you here.” For such a time as this. Hmmm.
I honestly feel that for some reason God has allowed me this opportunity to help lead my church in the coming days. The speaker made it clear that any thought that things are going to be same are just not true. It is going to be different and challenging. It is also exciting. All of this has caused me to revisit the sovereignty of God in all of this. I mean, I just believe that God is in charge. Not circumstances, not government, not me. That means that He does have a plan that He is working out. The only question is are we going to trust Him and be a part of His plan or are we going to write our own. Spoiler alert. That never goes well.
So whether it your every day, walk around life, or a business, or a church, if you are a Jesus follower, are you willing to let the Whisperer whisper and share with you His plan? I hope I will have the wisdom and courage to do so. It will mean stepping out of my “I’ve done it this way for 38 years” comfort zone and perhaps, just perhaps, do something different…perhaps radically different. Who knows, maybe we, with Him, can change our world. So, we shouldn’t be here but I sure am going to be listening for the Whisperer to speak to my heart. I know it will be right. I know it will be challenging. I know it will be exciting. I know somewhere along the way He is going to say, “Rest in Me. I’ve got this.” He does.