Sunday, April 26, 2020

Reset and Recalibrate

Staying healthy and whole or working towards wholeness in isolation.

Some people are home and loving it, the extra time because they don't have to travel, the new hobbies or crafts or whatever they are now finding time to do so relaxing etc etc.

Then there are the parents who I know love their kids like crazy - some love having them around - spending time etc. - others are struggling with a whole new set of routines - one mum told me that between her own studies and that of her kids, she's had to learn a number of different educational platforms to find where the work is and how to access it etc. So no rest and relaxation there.

For those who are no longer working - there is a whole lot of unexpected challenges relating to finance etc. How to fill time, missing colleagues, missing friends.

So in the midst of this - how do we maintain our well-being and work towards wholeness and wellness in our lives.

what are we doing to stay well

the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.
"measures of a patient's progress toward wellness

What is the difference between wellness and wellbeing.

According to psychology today
Well-being is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and ability to manage stress. More generally, well-being is just feeling well

So in the midst of uncertainty, when anxiety is high, we might have a level of wellness, but our well-being may be struggling.

I certainly don't have an the answers. The situation is different for us all. The stresses and pressures are different. Staying in contact with friends and loved ones, though possible through FaceTime options, is not the same.

I have struggled with my own well-being over the years (including now) but here's some thoughts, ideas and tips that I've used, and might be useful for you too, in managing life at the moment, and setting a new direction towards well-being.

Isaiah 43

Isaiah 43:15-19NLT
I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel's Creator and King. [16] I am the LORD, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. [17] I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses. I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned, their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick. [18] "But forget all that- it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. [19] For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

I love this scripture. God always seems top highlight it to me at moments of change and challenge.

What can we learn.
God is doing a new thing - forget the past - forgetting the past - not living in past glories- past victories - be open to the new thing that God is doing.

He tells the the people of Israel - see I'm doing a new thing, can you perceive it, it has already begun.

I think there is a strong tendency in us to think backwards to what was (pre lockdown) instead of forward to what could be and then recognising that it's in the now, the thing that God is already doing that is important.

The people of Israel remembered the amazing things God had done for them. God basically says, don't focus on those things.

So for us, focusing on what life was like before isolation and lockdown isn't helpful.

We live in the now and not in the past
We are in a new season. A new way of living. Can we perceive it. Do we understand the times.

Are there things we actually don't want to go back to.

Are there things that are not actually helpful for us that we can leave behind.

Sometimes we feel good because we are busy, but spending our lives in busy nothings are not helpful. We look for happiness, but research suggests happiness is found not in the pursuit of happiness but in having some kind of purpose.

Eph 2:10 God's workmanship created to do the good works he planned in advance.

If we are too busy we can miss this.

Maybe this season is to redirect us to a new purpose in life. Maybe that purpose is to do less and in doing less, achieving more. One of the paradoxes of life.

I actually don't want to go back to the past - there are things I'm planning on not picking up again.

What if during this time we rethought what is truly important and made a decision to leave behind what was not?

What if God was deliberately removing some activities from our lives?

God works for the good

Romans 8:26-28 NLT
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. [27] And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will. [28] And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

We can focus on what God is doing, even if we can't see it properly yet. We cam be confident that God is at work, even when we are not.

Prayers - deep groaning - when we are really troubled or unable to pray, at this time, let the Holy Spirit who is there to help us, let him take the burden in prayer. - feeling unsure, feeling fearful, let his Spirit take control.

God's desire for our well-being is important. He says let the Spirit of God take control. I'm in this, I'm working everything together for you and for your good.

So, some quick tips.

Reset - what is God speaking to us about where we can reset - priorities - What is really important.

We begin to discover, when all is taken away what is actually truly important to us.

Isaiah 43 - stop focusing on the past at what it was like, how it used to be.

Know the times, know the season. What season are we in. What season are we moving too. Is it time to do a reset to be ready for the new season that is already upon us.

Do a reset - on the phone - a reset removes everything on the phone - the extraneous pieces of information to start again, to renew and refresh. It removes the junk, the garbage and what you don't need or want anymore.

When we do a reset, we don't then fill our phones with the same old information.
Let's not fill up our lives with the same old stuff. We only put back on the equipment what we need and what is helpful.

We can choose to include in our lives, only what we need and is helpful for our well-being.

God says to the people, see it has already begun, can you not perceive it.

Is our perception today caught up in what was, what we think it should be, or is it perceiving the times and understanding the times.

As I mentioned earlier It is a new season and for some it is hard, for all sorts of reasons. But we can't go back to what was. We can find piece and rest in what is, by understanding the season, only taking what we know is helpful into the new season.

We can acknowledge the difficulties. They are real. We see them. Acknowledge them as reality, without dwelling on them and giving them power they don't have.

We might benefit at this time by reflecting on where we might need a slight adjustment, a recalibration. Not a major change, an adjustment.

I think about my car - wheels out of alignment (maybe hit one to many kerbs) or it meds a mechanical service because of wear and tear.

It still drives but I know something is not quite right. It just doesn't feel or sound right.

It's not helpful to leave it with the wrong calibration. It does damage to wheels and to the workings of the car. The longer it stays that way, the more damage is done. So I take it to be recalibrated - weights right, angles right Engine and mechanical parts put right.

Is God asking us to use this time to bring recalibration?

What's God highlighting for us that has gotten out of kilter in our lives.

Are you struggling with thoughts, feeling isolated.

Please get help.
An holistic approach to your well-being is important. Organise to see your doctor, in case there are physical reasons underlying how you feel. Organise to see a counsellor, or psychologist to talk to, and work with them. All of these are important ways to bring recalibration.

One of the great things I have found through receiving this type of help, is that they are really good in helping me see where I might need to recalibrate, where my thinking is out of kilter, where my thoughts are being unhelpful.

The other go to is God's word.
God's word helps brings recalibration

When you recalibrate something, you don't second guess it. You check it against a standard.

What standards can we recalibrate against. Ron mentioned some last week - speak nicely to people. Col 4.

Here's a couple more for contemplation later.

1 Cor 13 - love - patient, kind, does not boast

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud [5] or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. [6] It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. [7] Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Note: If you are in a relationship marked by violence and abuse. That is not love. You do not need to stay in that relationship. 

In a loving relationship we work on recalibrating our self, not others. 

Galatians puts this well.

Galatians 6:4-5 NLT
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else. [5] For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

Gal - get on with your own work instead of comparing yourself to others. So much angst in life come from comparing- home schooling is a case in point - on FB we see what others are doing - easy to compare. But remember, your kids are not their kids.

Mummas, you are all doing a great job with schooling your kids. They will be ok.

What recalibration might be necessary and important to you in this time? It will be different for everyone - your own well-being, your kids well-being etc.

Remember, recalibration is adjustment, for health, adjustment to promote well-being. Small steps, small changes.

Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."

Interesting that the rest is both physical rest, and emotional rest - a refreshing to gather strength.

(Thayer's Definition
to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect his strength
to give rest, refresh, to give one's self rest, take rest
to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation)

Are we taking time to find rest in Jesus, both physical rest and emotional rest.

How's my thinking - does it need recalibration

We don't have to entertain every thought that enters our head.

We can choose to let it go. We don't have to make it part of our ongoing thigh life.

Restore - time for reflection - restoration - putting in place for wellness and well-being

We can't do it all. That's ok. Parents - your kids will be ok even though you are schooling then at home at the moment.

We see many priorities changing around us.

We see lots of ways on FB about what we could be doing to enrich our lives at this time.

To be honest, I'm sick of seeing them. Because Maybe, just maybe, we don't have to. Maybe we find restoration, by simply reflecting and recalibrating what God highlights.

Stuff happens in life - we struggle finding peace in a busy distracted, overwhelming situation.

I'm my situation, I realised that there are some things I can do. I can reset, I can recalibrate. These things are helpful but as I reflect on psalm 23 we see God who restores the soul.

Restore -
He restores my soul
He leads me in green pastures
He makes me lie down

He restores.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A thought from Jill on wisdom from God's Word

Proverbs 3:7-8,15-18 NLT
Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. [8] Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.

[15] Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. [16] She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. [17] She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. [18] Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.

Here we are told a couple of things about wisdom

1. Wisdom is precious, valuable and worth achieving as wisdom is a wonderful guide.

2. Though wisdom is valuable, don't be proud about it, or be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead,  be humble and let God guide your path.

This reminds me of some other verses about wisdom.

James tells us that true wisdom, comes from God. He delights to give us wisdom if we ask for it and trust God for it.

James 1:5-6 NLT
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. [6] But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

God will also guide us and let us know which path to take.

Isaiah 30:21 NLT
Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left.

The context of this verse is that Israel had wandered away from God. He waited for their return and promised them that when they came to him they could trust him to guide them, to lead them and to hear his voice telling them which way to go.

We too can trust God to guide us on the right path,  to give us wisdom when we need it, and to know how to move forward. He will tell us which way to go, and give us wisdom to make the right choice.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Finding God in the ordinary

I love going to Colour Conference and being encouraged by the speakers. It's been formative for many areas of my life. I love hanging out with the women,  meeting new people and hearing from God.

However one thing I have discovered. God's greatest revelations to me come in the quite still moments of my own personal life and devotion when I choose to open my heart to him.

We want the big moments and recognition but we don't all get prominence. What we do have is incredible significance because we are loved by God. Even Elijah found God in the still small moments.

It's in my own community and in the local context that we flourish and grow if we choose to. We look to the big moments, we seek the big moments, but it's actually the small moments, in the quiet places that God speaks and that God heals.

I want to be open to God wherever I am but I also want to be a person that looks for God in the everyday moments and opportunities that we are given to love people, to love my friends and to love my family. 

A thought from Jill

What a beautiful morning here at Colour Conference 2. It's been a blessing to be able to attend both of the conferences.

Reminds me that sometimes there are things ahead that we come across unexpectedly. I wasn't  expecting to be at both conferences  but God knew I'd be here again.

I've received so much and even though their may be things ahead that will cost us something (Colour and accommodation twice is not cheap) if we lean in to God we find that in return God speaks in amazing ways and directs our paths.

Have an awesome day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Look to the future

Haggai 2:3-9 NLT
'Does anyone remember this house-this Temple-in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all! [4] But now the LORD says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. [5] My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.' [6] "For this is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. [7] I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. [8] The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. [9] The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. And in this place I will bring peace. I, the LORD of Heaven's Armies, have spoken!"

Wednesday, February 6, 2019


I was reading through my emails recently and found this by Charlene, from 'Grit and Virtue' who writes the encouraging email that I receive most weeks in my inbox from them. I don't always read to the end, but the other night I couldn't sleep so I took time to read through the email. It's about vision, sticking with it to see it through and making it a reality by positive action and growth.

I hope you enjoy reading the following as much as I did.


What’s your vision?
What stirs up in you when you read that question? Maybe you get excited because you know exactly what you want or what God is calling you to accomplish, or perhaps it makes you cringe because you have no idea. Whatever your relationship with the word vision is, I want to invite you to see it from a different perspective.

People that accomplish amazing things all point back to a vision they had and held onto until they reached it. Having a vision is important and how it manifests is different for each person. So, let’s dive in and make it more tangible.

We can have multi-layered visions, in life and work. In the context of work I like to refer to is as your vocational vision. You and I both know that following our dreams can be riddled with setbacks. The prerequisite of unleashing our inner grit is having a vision worth fighting for. It has to be worth it. It needs to be a vision that excites you and one that drives you. One that will propel you to keep showing up regardless of the challenges.

So, as someone who has pursued clarity in my vocational vision, and has helped many people unpack theirs, I understand the complexities in the process of discovering one’s vision.

However, here are 4 things to help guide you in discovering or bringing clarity to your vision:

Know Yourself
Introspection and self-awareness are the catalysts to living a life on purpose. Understanding what breaks your heart and what changes you want to see in the world are nudges leading to your desired vision.

Make it Tangible 
Begin articulating what you know to be your vision so far. It doesn’t have to be perfectly clear right now. Writing it down makes it tangible. Speaking it out loud gives it breath.

Evolve it Through Action 
You have permission to explore, experiment and evolve your vision over time. Take action, both big and small, toward it and see it unfold into something beautiful.

Continuously Bring it to God 
Lastly, our visions without His alignment means nothing. Above all things listen to His still small voice. It’s only then that we’ll get the peaceconviction, and confirmation to pursue our visions with reckless abandon.

You’ve got this,


Friday, January 11, 2019

Faith that Overcomes

Faith that Overcomes

Developing Convictions that guide us

Faith - a conviction, a belief, 

Persistence and endurance Heb 11 Heb 12

Heb 11 - people of endurance and faith

Faith and Endurance

2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Heb 12 - witnesses - run with endurance - 

Hebrews 12:1-2,7 NLT

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. [2] We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne.

Dictionary Definition

Endurance - Patience

Original Word


Transliterated Word


Phonetic Spelling


Parts of Speech

Noun Feminine

Strong's Definition

From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance constancy: - enduring patience patient continuance (waiting).

Thayer's Definition

steadfastness, constancy, endurance

in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings

patiently, and steadfastly

a patient, steadfast waiting for

a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance

Cheerful hopeful endurance

Convictions that lead to hopeful endurance

These are my personal convictions that guide me and both require faith and build faith

God is good and loves us

God is at work and wants us to grow

God's plan is bigger than we can comprehend

When I look at the people of faith in the Bible, they are a mixed bunch.

Most of them found themselves in situations they did not plan and probably would not necessarily choose to be placed or to have wanted to find themselves

Esther - used to save the Jewish people

(Joseph - used by God to saved a family/clan,

Moses - used by God to free a people group

Esther - used by God to save a nation

Jesus - came to save the whole world - which is what the others looked forward to.)

Esther is a key player in the book named after her which is notable for its actual absence of the mention of God. However it forms part of the canon of Scripture, and we can learn much about faith. 

Not just Esther's faith, but also the faith and the wisdom of her uncle Mordecai

So to some background.

Esther 1:1-4  (NLT)

The King’s Banquet

1 These events happened in the days of King Xerxes,[a] who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia.[b] 2 At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa. 3 In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces. 4 The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty.

It goes on to tell us that they then feasted for another seven days. This is some party

Queen Vashti was called to come and show off her beauty before the nobles etc and she refused to do so. The king becomes angry, sends her away and then later gets lonely and decides on a beauty quest for a new queen. 

Clearly this is before the days of Women's Lib, Feminist movements and the #MeToo movement. 

Esther 2: 2-4

Esther Becomes Queen

2 But after Xerxes’ anger had subsided, he began thinking about Vashti and what she had done and the decree he had made. 2 So his personal attendants suggested, “Let us search the empire to find beautiful young virgins for the king. 3 Let the king appoint agents in each province to bring these beautiful young women into the royal harem at the fortress of Susa. Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the harem, will see that they are all given beauty treatments. 4 After that, the young woman who most pleases the king will be made queen instead of Vashti.” This advice was very appealing to the king, so he put the plan into effect.

I bet it was appealing to the king. Not sure how appealing it was to the young women. They basically had to give up their freedom and become part of the harem. For a young Jewish girl with her whole life before her this can't have been a joyous prospect. 

In Esther we see a young Jewish girl placed in a difficult situation for someone from her upbringing. With only a few wise words from Mordecai, she leaves for the Harem.

But God had other ideas. Somehow, in the midst of this, Mordecai must have wondered what was happening. He stayed as close to Esther as he could, and remarkably Esther found favour with the King and is crowned queen. (after what is basically a beauty contest after months of treatment etc. 

I wonder what it was like with a whole bunch of women, vying for the kings attention, and carrying on like twerps - a bit like the bachelor show maybe!!

He's a man of loyalty to Esther - he continues o follow her progress, and he is loyal to the king. We tend with this story, to focus on Esther and her faith, and risk she took , to go in and see the king. But in actual fact, the story in many ways is about the faithfulness, wisdom, faith and loyalty of Mordecai in the face of opposition. 

Esther 2:21-23

Mordecai’s Loyalty to the King

21 One day as Mordecai was on duty at the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthana[g] and Teresh—who were guards at the door of the king’s private quarters—became angry at King Xerxes and plotted to assassinate him. 22 But Mordecai heard about the plot and gave the information to Queen Esther. She then told the king about it and gave Mordecai credit for the report. 23 When an investigation was made and Mordecai’s story was found to be true, the two men were impaled on a sharpened pole. This was all recorded in The Book of the History of King Xerxes’ Reign.

Faith is having the courage of our convictions 

The rest of the narrative is around Haman's hatred of Mordecai, his desire to remove Mordecai by removing the Jews (by genocide), and then of Mordecai's challenge to Esther. 

Mordecai was a man of his convictions. 

Haman’s Plot against the Jews

3 Some time later King Xerxes promoted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite over all the other nobles, making him the most powerful official in the empire. 2 All the king’s officials would bow down before Haman to show him respect whenever he passed by, for so the king had commanded. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect.

3 Then the palace officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why are you disobeying the king’s command?” 4 They spoke to him day after day, but still he refused to comply with the order. So they spoke to Haman about this to see if he would tolerate Mordecai’s conduct, since Mordecai had told them he was a Jew.

5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. 6 He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.

Here, Mordecai is following through on his conviction of only bowing to honour God, not people. It takes courage to do so in the face of opposition. Haman decides that its not just enough to get rid of Mordecai, but all the Jews.

If it was just himself, I don't think Mordecai would have sought out Esther, but his loyalty to God and his people, his desire to save people, helped him to see, that Esther was placed in to this place of honour as queen for this time and this purpose. 

Esther 4:10-14

10 Then Esther told Hathach to go back and relay this message to Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.” 12 So Hathach[a] gave Esther’s message to Mordecai.

13 Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. 14 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?”

His convictions in one way lead to the situation. His conviction in God's goodness, his conviction, that somehow, God was at work behind the scenes, enabled him to have a faith, accompanied by action that would see the Jews saved. 

James - Faith without action is dead. Faith with action is what transforms it to an overcoming faith. A reality of faith as opposed to a lip service of faith. 

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[f] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[g] He was even called the friend of God.[h] 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath,[i] so also faith is dead without good works.

We see this when Peter was asked to drop his net on the other side of the boat, after fishing all night and not catching anything. We see it when Rahab hid the spies and hung the red cord from her window, and we see it when the widow collected jars and filled them with oil etc. 

Non of it really made sense. But it was faith with action and each person was able to overcome. God was at work, when they couldn't at first see it. 

God was at work, behind the scenes at all times. Mordecai in his wisdom seems to understand this.   

Faith that God will intervene (think about Daniel's friends in the fiery furnace)

What areas of your life can you look back on and see that God was at work behind the scenes? All of us can probably look back and say we couldn't see it at the time, we wondered what God was doing. 

But the sun is always shining above the clouds. We need to remember , when its tough, that a faith that overcomes, knows God is at work, that he has placed us where we are, even when we don't understand it at the time. 

When we begin to grasp this, we can begin to see that God is in control. 

He sees the bigger picture when we see only the circumstances. 

Faith trusts that God has a bigger picture in mind, a bigger purpose. Faith trusts in a certainty that is not always seen.

Mordecai began to grasp this, but Esther had not yet grasped it. 

This is where we see the phrase "for such a time". We like to think that this means our "such a time" is going to be marvellous, wonderful and straight forward. 

"It's our Year", "its our time" etc. 

However, Esther's life in the palace was not always easy and her placement "for this time" was fraught with danger and risk. 

God's bigger picture requires us to be prepared to take risks. As Esther grabs hold of her purpose, we see her willing to place her destiny in God's hands, and God's bigger plan and purpose. 

How does she handle this?

She garners the support of others.  

Esther 4:15-17

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”17 So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Esther asks other to fast and she too says she will fast. Why fasting. In Jewish understanding, fasting is associated with prayer. Matt 6:5-17 Jesus connects fasting and prayer together. 

To have an overcoming faith, requires us to seek the face of God in prayer, to be prepared to go without sustenance, to develop spiritual strength.

But she also understood the power of two or three gathered together. There is power in people of the same purpose praying together. 

Matthew 18:19-20

19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers,[h] I am there among them.”

She and Mordecai did not isolate themselves.

They intentionally drew support from those around them for the common cause and for good. 

They began to put their faith into action, to seek God and to step out with courage. 

They saw that a greater purpose was being played out. 

God loves his people and is looking after them.

God is at work

God has the bigger picture