Devotions

If I perish, I perish

Esther 4:16 (NIV):  “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

I have jumped out of Air Force and Army aircraft a total of 80 times. Fortunately, I took steps to mitigate the risk. I wore a parachute. I went through training. In spite of those steps I had a very serious injury on my 61st jump. As an Army chaplain, I was involved in over 50 memorial ceremonies. My first one was for a Soldier in my unit whose parachute did not deploy. Every time I jumped, especially for my jump number 62, I prayed, knowing that if I perish I want to be spiritually prepared.

In the above verse, Queen Esther, a Jew married to the King who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Africa, knew that if she approached the King uninvited he could decide to kill her. Obviously, that was a concern. A bigger concern was if she did nothing all the Jews in all the provinces could be slaughtered. So, she took steps to mitigate the immediate risk. She not only fasted to focus on God, but had her attendants fast, and asked that all Jews in the city of Susa fast as well. Only then was she prepared for the possibility of her own death.

This story challenges me. Physical risk is one thing. Risking being marginalize or “cancelled”  is another. I know that as I follow God, He has called on me to be prepared to lovingly defend my faith. As I follow Jesus, I hold to the truths of how God created me and the world around me. I am completely convinced that following Jesus is the best option for all of mankind. I need a Savior. I need a Lord who loves me. I want that for those who are even far away from Him. I want that for those who may want to “cancel” me as well.

To mitigate the risk of any of my fears, I choose to embrace Jesus, learn all I can from Him, and apply His truths to my life, even as I share with others.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to take risks as I follow You. I may have my concerns, but I want to emulate Queen Esther with the freedom she found resulting in her attitude of “if I perish, I perish.”

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