A Gecko and God’s Will
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Vacation can be a good time to reflect on one’s life. Whenever I’m away from home, away from my obligations, and enjoying the quiet of being away from life’s relentless challenges, God always seems to take the opportunity to impress things on me, and I am always blessed by it.
Such was the case as I rested in a Cocoa Beach condominium, which some dear friends owned and had invited us to enjoy. I had been looking forward to the trip for quite a while. I love the ocean, and being a native Coloradan, I don’t get many opportunities to see it. And I’m also a huge nerd, a fan of NASA’s space program, and very excited to be within eye shot of their launch pads.
One thing I did not expect, however, were the geckos. I had rarely seen them in person before, but on Florida’s space coast, they’re as common as prairie dogs are to Colorado. And sometimes, they make their way indoors.
In the wrong place?
I’m not afraid of these cute little lizards, but upon noticing a small, tan friend scurrying across the floor one evening, I couldn’t help but wonder how he had gotten in or where he had hidden. I remembered that Solomon had noted this fact in Proverbs:
A lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces.
I named my gecko friend “Larry” and kept an eye out for him, wherever he was.
The next morning, my wife spotted Larry on the ceiling in our bedroom. He was a cute little fellow, but I didn’t want him dropping onto my wife or myself as we slept that night. Larry needed to go outside. He would be happier, and I would rest easier.
Although Larry was harmless, I wasn’t excited about the idea of grabbing him with my bare hand, so I did what any brave, self-respecting adult man would do and found a broom. My master plan was to coax Larry off the ceiling and then outside through the nearby sliding glass door.
After gently making contact with Larry, he barely moved. He was quite comfortable right where he was. I had to be more persuasive. I nudged Larry with the broom bristles, and he took off along the ceiling, tightly holding on as he moved in the opposite direction I had intended.
I touched the ceiling in front of Larry with my broom, and Larry fell off the ceiling, impressively catching himself on the wall. Now he was agitated. With the broom, I brushed the wall to coax him towards the open door, but he was resistant. He had no idea what was happening or what he needed to do.
What must this have been like for Larry? He thought everything was fine, and suddenly, by forces beyond his control or understanding, his life was being turned upside-down.
Feeling like a lost gecko?
Have you ever felt that way? I have. In fact, quite a few people have felt that way, including some very notable heroes of the Bible.
Like Joseph, the Old-Testament dreamer whose brothers sold him into slavery Genesis 37:12-36. Little could Joseph have known as he was being hauled away from home that his wild ride was just beginning. In the course of the next few years, Joseph would find himself elevated to a high position in a prominent Egyptian household, Genesis 39:1-23 falsely accused of assault and thrown into prison, put in charge of the affairs of his prison, and then dragged before Pharaoh with demands to interpret his dreams Genesis 41:15-40.
Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.”
“Very well,” he replied.
14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.
When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”
17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ “
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the desert, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe–the richly ornamented robe he was wearing– 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”
31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornamented robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”
34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “in mourning will I go down to the grave to my son.” So his father wept for him.
36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.
Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.
2 The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 6 So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
16 She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. 18 But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.
But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile,18 when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. 19 After them, seven other cows came up–scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20 The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21 But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.
22 “In my dreams I also saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. 23 After them, seven other heads sprouted–withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. 24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none could explain it to me.”
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27 The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.
28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.
33 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”
37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God ?”
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.
And then, there was Daniel, who as a young man had been carried off from his homeland into captivity Daniel 1:1-8.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility– 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
6 Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
And let’s not forget Esther, a young Hebrew girl who was involuntarily taken from her home and deposited into a pagan king’s harem Esther 2:1-14.
Later when the anger of King Xerxes had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her.2 Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. 3 Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful girls into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. 4 Then let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.
5 Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, 6 who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah. 7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
8 When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many girls were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. 9 The girl pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven maids selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. 11 Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
12 Before a girl’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. 13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.
These are just a few examples of people who were minding their own business, but who got swept away from everything that was familiar and comfortable.
Reluctant to move…
My friend, Larry the gecko, still wasn’t where he needed to be. As I tried to steer Larry toward the waiting door, he uneasily scurried along the wall. Up, down, and up again, Larry had no idea where to go. He only knew that he didn’t want to be near that broom. Finally, Larry found the doorway, got halfway into the door jamb, and stopped. He was almost there, but he didn’t want to go all the way through the door. Instead, he found a nook to crawl into. It was safe. It was enclosed. Larry hid away in the sliding door’s channel, neither inside nor outside of the condo.
I needed to employ the broom once more. Placing the bristles inside the door channel, I brushed toward Larry, who initially made a move to re-enter the condo back to what had been familiar. Not that way, Larry! With a few rapid broom maneuvers and a few panicked dashes by Larry, he finally found his way outside, and the door closed behind him.
And as I was feeling proud of myself for having transplanted Larry without any harm to him, I couldn’t help but think of how God moves us along in our lives.
Into the unknown…
Maybe you’ve wondered what’s supposed to come next. Maybe you’ve watched the world change around you and wondered what it all meant for you. Are you meant to stay put? Are you supposed to move on to something else? And how are you supposed to know?
And I thought of Larry.
Like him, I’ve been used to living a fairly stationary life, not moving very far, but contentedly living in the same, familiar place. That’s fine. But how will I know what God wants me to do next?
I’m not the only person to have his question. What does God want me to do? Where does He want me to go? Larry can relate.
The truth is, Larry had been just fine where he was. But when it was time for him to move on, I let him know, and not in a subtle way. I simply made it impossible for Larry to remain where he was.
And when he ran in the wrong direction, I blocked his path. I’ve been in Larry’s shoes, if geckos wore shoes, that is. I’ve been moved away from the familiar and given no choice but to depart from what I had known, because God had made it impossible to stay where I was. As I scurried directionless, God blocked certain paths, forcing me into other directions and attitudes.
Larry, of course, had no idea that I was looking out for his best interests. He was too busy running for his life, fearful for all that was happening to him.
It’s so easy to forget that God is working in our lives. We wish He would write our answers in the sky and give us smooth sailing. We don’t like to rely on trust or faith. We’d rather have our paths all mapped out for us, and we’d rather do the driving ourselves. And so, when faced with change, it’s easy to retreat into something that feels safe.
Unable to stay put…
Larry the gecko found a brief respite in a dark nook in the door jamb, giving himself a moment to catch his breath. He was so close to where he needed to be. He was almost through the door, but afraid to go any further into the vast unknown that awaited him.
How often do we resist taking those last crucial steps into God’s designed will for us? The first step of any journey can be scary, but often, the last step is even scarier. It’s the last step which commits us. The last step from which there is no turning back.
And then came the broom. Larry could not stay in his safe place, only a few steps short of his unknown destination. And then, out he went. Into the sun, into the warmth. Into a place that suited him better, and into the place where he was always meant to be.
God works in similar ways for us.
What good news that is! How much time do we waste trying to “figure out” what God wants us to do? But the reality is, we don’t have to “figure anything out.” We simply have to watch out for the broom. God won’t make it a mystery when He means to move us on. He knows us. Honestly, we’re not the brightest creatures in the universe.
If God takes your life and shakes it up, He’s doing it in love.
Of course, God allows us great freedom in doing as we see fit. And we are certainly free to move from one thing to the next as we think is best. Those are decisions that we have to weigh based upon our motives and desires. Are we being selfish? Are we trying to benefit others? Are we praying over it and seeking God in all of it? But if you’re concerned that you’re missing some ideal version of God’s will for your life; if you’re afraid you’re not where God wants you, ask Him. Serve God wherever you are as you pray and wait for God to answer. And if God wants to move you on, you’ll see the broom.
It might be scary. It might seem uncertain. You might find yourself scurrying directionless as the broom bears down on you. But God isn’t trying to harm you. Change is difficult, and can even be frightening, but when we remember that the God who is driving that change loves you and is moving you to the place He wants you, there can be great peace amid the change.
If God takes your life and shakes it up, He’s doing it in love. Yes, it’s scary, and those last unreturnable steps are the most frightening. But just beyond, there lies a brand new chapter for your life; a chapter that places you just where God means for you to be. And whatever it is, it will be the best place and the best life, not only for you in the here and now, but also for eternity, for your benefit and for the sake of others.
Remember Joseph, the kid whose own brothers sold him into slavery? God was moving Joseph into position to save the lives of an entire nation Genesis 50:20.
How about Esther, a beautiful Hebrew girl who was forced into a beauty contest for a pagan king? She became queen, and God used her to save her entire race from annihilation Esther 8:1-13.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”
48 Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. 49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.
[Daniel said,] “But you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. 23 Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. 24 Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription.
25 “This is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN
26 “This is what these words mean:
Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
29 Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom.
30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, 31 and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.
It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom,2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
6 So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: “O King Darius, live forever!7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. 8 Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered–in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.
10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”
The king answered, “The decree stands–in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
15 Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, “Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”
16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
21 Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land:
“May you prosper greatly!
26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
27 He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”
28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. 2 The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.
3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. 4 Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
5 “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”
7 King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have hanged him on the gallows. 8 Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring–for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”
9 At once the royal secretaries were summoned–on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language. 10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.
11 The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them and their women and children; and to plunder the property of their enemies. 12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. 13 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
God moved them all, unexpectedly, forcefully, even violently. But He did it all for a reason, and He has no obligation to fill us in on all the reasons and specifics.
All we can do, wherever we are, is to serve Him.
Are you okay where you’re at? Then keep at it! But if you’re wondering if it’s definitely time to move on, watch for the broom, let it sweep you forth, and boldly take those final steps through the doorway of change.
It’ll be okay. In fact, it’ll be better. After all, that was God’s plan all along.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.