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Posts Tagged ‘Chosen people’

It was difficult to ignore her emaciated appearance. Ribs pressed through a fine layer of white fur and, despite the cat’s apparent lack of ownership, she should have been plump and healthy. Our early 1960’s-era cul-de-sac was strangely situated among the thick pine trees of upper Florida between a clogging dance studio and a henhouse. Scores of mice and other animals flourished in the underbrush.

But Vanilla, as she had become known, remained gaunt and listless.

Today she greeted me with a sway of her tail, mewling softly as I slid a bowl of milk onto the surface of the patio. I watched as her small, greedy tongue moved rapidly from mouth to container until the creamy liquid had disappeared.

Poor kitty, I thought. Why would someone abandon such a sweet animal?

Since childhood, I have been a rescuer of the abandoned.

I had once discovered a rejected hatchling. His pink, vein-threaded body and featherless head were defenseless against the heat of the plains and I had run home with the tiny bird in my hands, my childish heart in anguish over the plight of the tiny creature.  Of course, I was ill-equipped to care for the chick and he had died within hours.

Feeling as though I should honor his short life, I tucked him in a soft bed of green leaves and wildflowers inside an empty shoebox. Then beneath the waning summer sun, the simple words of a child’s prayer poured from my lips as easily as the dry prairie soil slid from the garden shovel, covering his shallow grave beneath the copse of Russian Olive trees.

The Pain of Abandonment

I didn’t want the baby bird to be alone. Discarded.

If I’m honest with you, abandonment is one of my triggers. For years, feelings of abandonment took up residence in my heart while fear of abandonment drove my actions. Can you relate?

For some, abandonment’s pain comes disguised in the form of conditional love while others experience the loss through divorce, emotional neglect, or any other number of ways.

I’ve been pondering the story of Esther and I believe this heroine knew the emotion’s gut-wrenching ache. If you’re familiar with the story, you probably recall that Esther was a young woman God raised up to help rescue her people from the evil plot of Haman, who served the king–Esther’s husband.

A deeper dive into scripture reveals that God’s people had been sent into captivity nearly seventy years before. God’s chosen ones seemed to have lost everything and Esther was no different. Still a teenager, this young woman knew heartache.

Both of Esther’s parents had died when she was a child and then the king had cast his net–choosing her as one of the women who might be beautiful enough to be considered as the next queen. First, she’d been stripped of family, then of freedom.

Perhaps God had abandoned Esther in the same way He seemed to have removed His presence from the people of Israel.

The Perception of Appearance

Though he was a hard, arrogant man, Esther found “grace and favor” with the king and she was chosen to sit on the throne. But her rise to position only caused consternation for the young orphan when a plot to kill all Jews in the kingdom was uncovered.

Surely, God doesn’t expect me to do anything. The king doesn’t even know I’m one of God’s people. These thoughts must have tempted Esther as she considered the choices she had to make.

But her cousin Mordecai exhorted, “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise…from another place.” (Esther 4:13 NKJV)

Esther had two choices. She could deny God and choose her life or choose God and sacrifice personal safety.

What do I mean? The queen was only allowed into the king’s presence when she’d been summoned. If Esther approached the throne without permission, her death was imminent except for his mercy.

No matter our perceptions, God never removes His presence from those He loves. The question is whether we will abandon Him under duress. Click To Tweet

Courageous young Esther determined that God and her countrymen were worth risking her life. As a result, circumstances that had appeared irredeemable were wrested from the hand of the enemy and proved God had never lost sight of those He loved.

What Does This Mean for Us?

I still weep over the forgotten and forsaken, but for different reasons than I once did. I no longer carry the ache of abandonment in my heart. Instead, I bear the blessing of having been carried from the place of damaged to delivered.

Although I once believed God had closed His eyes to my pain or vacated His position, the truth is that our heavenly Father never remains indifferent nor unaware. Click To Tweet

Although I once believed God had closed His eyes to my pain or vacated His position, the truth is that our heavenly Father never remains indifferent nor unaware. He is fully acquainted with the ways of the Enemy and able to work accordingly.

I believe that is the call of the Church today. “…you may have been chosen…for just such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) Click To Tweet

As with Esther, we are called to trust Him. To pray. To join in His mission of offering freedom to hurting hearts. I believe that is the call of the Church today. “…you may have been chosen…for just such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14)

Peace and grace,

Tammy

P. S. I often linkup with these other wonderful bloggers.

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsMandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

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The dark moments in the past have a strange way of remaining alive and, while I’d thought moving ahead meant leaving them behind—discarded in the emotional trash heap–I’ve discovered the unexpected. God can use all of it.

In His hands, anything—and anyone—becomes new…restored…redeemed. Whatever the sin. No matter the regret.

Beauty!

Sometimes, though, I’m captured by the enemy’s lies. Instead of receiving God’s promises—I live as if the lies are true. Who do you think you are to tell people about Jesus? If they knew the truth about you…well, no one would listen.

 And a mental recording plays over and over—untruths spilling into my heart.  Unworthy. Unchangeable. Unloved.

 But when I heed those messages then I discount everything Jesus did for me—trading His perfection for my failures. Heavenly hope for my humanness. Sacred separation for my Divine acceptance.

Have you, too, grabbed hold of the adversary’s lies? Believed God is unable to do His work in you? Found that you’re stuck in unbelief and losing spiritual momentum? Remember, dear Friend, if you are in Christ then you were called for a purpose…on purpose. It’s time for us to throw off those hindrances and follow after Him—each step taking us deeper and further into those places that are less about our hang-ups and habits and more about Jesus.

This is the day to believe truth.

 

 Scripture for Reflection

Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him.

(MSG 2 Cor. 5:17-19)

PatriciaHolbrook_RW_button3A-e1485727161169  LIVEFREETHURSDAY

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