Week 52 Tuesday

Behind the Scenes

Today’s scripture selection: Esther 6-10

Key verses: Esther 7:3

“Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life- this is my petition.  And spare my people – this is my request.”

Some have quickly passed over the story of Esther, thinking it only has something to say about ancient Jewish history.

But in fact, it is a tale of how God sometimes works “behind the scenes” in our lives.

In Esther, we see how a faithful woman becomes a queen; an evil plan to destroy the Jews is averted; mercy is shown to them, and divine justice is executed against the one who would have destroyed them.

Not many of us lead lives of such intrigue and adventure.

But can you think of ways God has acted, perhaps “behind the scenes” in your own life?  I can.

I imagine that God and His angels are often at work – in small and large ways alike – and we too often write it off as luck or coincidence.  Or worse, we pat ourselves on the back for being so clever; so strong; so talented; so – whatever – that we are to be commended for pulling things off so perfectly.

Take some time this week to think about how a gracious and loving God might be at work – quietly, discreetly, but at work just the same.  And give thanks.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for all your hidden and mysterious works of grace.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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