People always tend to say in times of joy or happiness ‘enjoy/live in the moment’ because most of us know that experiences, feelings, perceptions etc. at a particular time only come once. No one second is ever the same as the next so enjoy it while you can. However, what about times of sadness and mourning? Do we always have the same perception in these circumstances and what should be our outlook on life be in moments of grief and sorrow?
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) ”There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun” it then goes on to give some specific examples in the following verses; “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…”( Verses 2-8). It is clear that there are going to be good times and bad times in our lives and it’s only for a season, but as humans we always want to know the future, we always want to know where our lives are heading and what’s coming next. This is a power that only God holds and ‘he has made everything in his beautiful time’. Our job as God’s children is to trust in the plans he has for us tomorrow or even a minute from now. Even if right now you are in grief or in a terrible season in your life and there seems to be no light, God see’s you and your future and knows that its only for a time, as the Word says ‘weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning’. (Psalm 30:5)
Look at Esther’s story. In Esther 2:5-7 we are told some background on Esther (Hadassah) and her uncle Mordecai. Mordecai was a captive who was enslaved when his nation was carried away from Jerusalem. Now imagine the pain you would feel if everything you’ve ever known is taken away from you and you are taken captive in a strange and foreign land. It would be a very hard time in anyone’s life and it could also be very easy to forget God In our sadness. But that was not all; Mordecai’s niece Esther was also part of this hardship. She, as a young child lost both her father and mother. An orphan, and also an outcast as she was a young Jewish girl in a Babylonian nation. All the odds seemed against them and life could have easily gotten both of them down due to very tragic circumstances. But see this was just a season in their lives and God knew the plans he had for them.
The enemy of souls sometimes tries to convince us that there is no way out and we all alone. God has forgotten us as David cried out ‘My God, My God why has thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from me, and from the words of my roaring’. At this point in his life he thought that God had left him and sometimes we also feel this way but this is not true.
The name of God is not mentioned at all in the Book of Esther and yet we see his divine providence on the lives of Both Esther and Mordecai. Even though they both went through a tough season in their lives probably filled with sorrow God brought them through. In the same Chapter 2:15-18 Esther comes from being a young Jewish orphan to the Queen of the realm, she found favor with those around her and with the King. God had a plan for her to save his people, a bigger plan than she would have ever imagined in her season of hardship. By the last chapter of the book Mordecai who had a raised Esther by himself and had no family, a man who was supposed to have been executed and killed was now Prime Minister of Persia.
There is NOTHING too big for God and even when we can’t see him in our lives he is there working just like in the story of Esther. Trust in the Lord in every season of your life, whether it is in your joy or sorrow, you have no idea what he has next for you.