I’m sitting waiting to take my parents to DesMoines, Iowa and board a plane back to Dallas this morning. We’ve traveled to my mother’s sister celebration of Life service this past Thursday. As I sat in Aunt Marjorie’s service, the presence of God was real and thick with God’s glory. Aunt Marjorie was a true prayer warrior and intercessor. Every day until her passing to glory last Sunday, she would take her note book of prayer request and pray for each person and situation. She prayed for people to receive Christ as Lord and Savior, for missionaries, for pastors, for family, for friends and many other requests. She would date the day she began praying for the request and then once the prayer was answered she would put a star by the name and request signifying the answer of prayer. The question was asked by her Pastor at her memorial service, “who will take up this mantel?”
As I have pondered these words from Aunt Marjorie’s life, I have meditated on this week’s celebration of the Old Testament book of Esther. This is called PURIM, which means in Hebrew “to cast lots.” This was a cultural tradition in that day for people to cast lots to determine a major decision or the hearing from God. Haman the evil Prime Minister of the Persian empire hated the Jewish people. He had devised a plan to have them all murdered at the gallows by the casting of lots. This past week was the anniversary of that day. The Jewish people are in exile again and find themselves away from their Promised land and home of Jerusalem. Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God’s name. He is working behind the scenes. Esther is a Jewish Orphan girl who is being raised by her uncle Mordecai. He is one of the elders of the King’s palace. Through a series of events the queen, Vashti is killed by her husband the King. The King orders all the young virgins to come to the palace and he will choose his king after each one spends a night with him. Esther prepares herself for 12 months in baths and oils (anointing) to meet the King. God’s favor is all over her though the King does not know she is of Jewish descent. She is chosen queen. Mordecai is her support and intercessor. He represents the Holy Spirit in this story. Through his wisdom and directions she saves her people from a Holocaust.
The book of Esther tells us every year we are to share this miraculous story to the world and celebrate with joy, gladness and feasting how GOD CAN TURN AROUND YOUR STORY. Like, Mordecai and my Aunt Marjorie, who is praying for you and who are you praying for? Like Esther, God is working behind the scenes of your life and He can Turn Around your circumstances. God is working in secret behind your life. Someone is praying for you today. If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever he can do it for you.
In the New Testament, the book of John, chapter 11 there is a parallel story. The story of Lazarus. He is the brother of Martha and Mary who is sick and dies. This story happens around the same time of Jewish celebration of Purim. Lazarus is in the grave for 3 days. Yeshua shows up and speaks to Lazarus to “come forth.” Why didn’t all the people named Lazarus rise from the dead and come forth that day? I believe it was because Lazarus had eyes to see and ears to hear when he was alive recognizing Yeshua as Messiah. In Rabbinical teaching it is taught that what has become dead, there is where God will breathe life into it. WOW! What hope! In your life whatever has died or is dying: dreams, goals, relationships, health, whatever through the Holy Spirit God is breathing life.
My Aunt Marjorie prayers got many people through dark and hopeless situations. Someone is praying for you today. Make sure you are praying for someone today. God can turn your story around on a dime. Happy Purim and Shabbat Shalom.