I am an impulsive, go-getting soul who doesn’t struggle with fast decisions and quick actions. I know what I like and what I don’t like; I know what I want and what I don’t want; and I (a majority of the time) take action promptly based on those feelings and preferences. I don’t “hem and haw” around; I don’t analyze all of the options; and I certainly don’t take the time to read Consumer Reports, Amazon Reviews, or any other Blue or Brown book that would further delay my actions.
And it drives my husband crazy.
With gusto and roughly-hewn plans, I rush into life with guns a blazin’. And with thorough contemplation, he takes his rifle (the one filled with bullets of logic, caution, and research) and shoots down all those “best-laid plans” of his trigger-happy wife.
I am the gas, and he is the brakes.
And though it sounds a bit cute and humorous in this blog-post space, I used to resent it.
It annoyed me that he had to think through all of the options. It bothered me when he had to stop and consult (like for more than 10 seconds) a map. It drove me batty that he had to do a cost-benefit analysis of our purchases. It was super-beyond-mind-blowing that he felt compelled to bubble-wrap everything when we moved our stuff from our apartment to our house… a whopping 20 minutes away. And I wanted to jump off a large cliff when he asked me (early on in our marriage) to start saving my receipts and logging my expenses.
But you know what this impulsive wife has painstakingly learned over the course of my married life? There is purpose in the process; there is worth in the weight, and there is good to be found when logic abounds and caution is heeded.
So when I arrived in chapter five of Esther, I felt a tad-bit “husband-triggered” as I read the unfolding events.
“On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. And the king said to her, ‘What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.’ And Esther said, ‘If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.’”
As you have already read earlier this week, Mordecai (the cousin who raised the orphaned Esther) has been weeping and fasting outside the gates of the King’s palace and has urged Queen Esther to use her influence to rescue their people.
To say the scene is stressful and the need is urgent, might be a slight understatement. If Esther doesn’t act soon, Haman’s plot to wipe out the Jews is going to be enforced and executed by the King.
So what does Esther do under pressure? How does she proceed when a decision needs to be made ASAP?
In short, she gets all dolled up and stands in a place where the King can see her.
Her people are days from being executed, and she’s spraying Chanel No. 5, primping her hair, and fastening her heels?! …but her thoughtful plan works, and she gets both the attention and ear of the King.
And what does she do when she not only gets his attention but is also given the opportunity to make any request at the tip of his decreeing scepter? She invites him to a party!
Esther, your people are about to die, and you’re gonna throw a party?! Sister, put on your thinking cap and ask for the King to spare your people!
And not only does she invite the King to her little “wine and dine party,” but she also requests for the King’s right-hand man, Haman, to come along too.
Haman? The one who is pushing his Jewish, genocide plan?! What is she doing?!?!
And what does she do when she gets the King and his henchman at the banqueting table?
“And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, ‘What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.’ Then Esther answered, ‘My wish and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.’”
Not once, but TWICE, Esther is thrown a softball! And what does she do when the King grants her a second opportunity to make a request at the behest of his royal throne? She invites them to another rendezvous party!
Esther, take off your party pumps and get your head in the game! People are going to die and the ‘”such a time as this” is now!
At this point in the reading, this impulsive sister is just beside myself. And not only am I flabbergasted by Esther‘s lack of pulling the proverbial trigger on saving God’s people, I’m also semi-tempted to throw Esther into a box, along with my thorough and thoughtful husband, that is stamped: CAUTION: THERE IS MORE CAUTION IN THIS BOX THAN ANYONE CAN HANDLE!
Not remembering the text (since it’s been awhile since I last read Esther), I read on. And what do I find? Six more verses of what I gauge as non-helpful action.
We read that proud and petulant Haman gets offended when Mordecai refuses to bow (yet again) when he passes by the palace gates, so he consults his croonies.
“Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, ‘Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged upon it. Then go joyfully with the king to the feast.’ This idea pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made.”
Literally, this is how the chapter (the one I’m supposed to write about) ends.
Gallows are built for Esther‘s relative, and the Jews are (seemingly) no closer to rescue.
So what can we take away from this very-slow and anti-climactic chapter?
I’ll tell ya…
It’s the very theme the Lord is constantly threading throughout His Word, the very lesson the Lord is constantly trying to teach my impulsive and impatient heart (sometimes even through my patient and thoughtful hubby).
My timeline may not be yours, and My plans may not be yours, but that doesn’t mean I’m not moving and making a way. I will move and act according to my heavenly watch, but I will not move and act until I have moved all the pieces and people into all the right places at the very perfect time.
Because I want my glory to be shown and my name to be known! I am a King who is never late and never too-thoughtful. There is a method to my merciful plan; there is a sovereign reason for my timeline; and there is a thought-out, thoroughly-executed strategy to save my people and rescue their hearts.
I am committed to your growth; I am devoted to your faith; I know what you don’t; and I am dedicated to the deepening of your trust as you wait on me to act.
Trust me. Wait on me. Watch for me.
For though the “decrees” have gone out and the “gallows” have been built in the story of your life, I will move… I will come… and I will rescue.