This summer will be a whirlwind of activity as I work on VBS the next couple weeks and then get ready to leave Florida for three and a half weeks to see our families. Because of all this busyness, I am trying to get ahead on some of my blog thoughts and I thought that I would go back to sharing my thoughts about a book called Running with the Giants by John C. Maxwell.
Over a year ago, my husband checked out the audiobook version of this little book, and we would listen to it as we drove to the school where we worked. I loved it, bought the book, and started sharing thoughts from it. Then I got sidetracked onto other thoughts.
All of the chapters are told in a story format of imagining that we are in the stadium of life running our race around a track. As we run, we have this crowd — cloud of witnesses — in the stands who have run the race before us. One at a time, they come out of the stands and run a lap of the race with us and share the lessons they have learned. The book title is actually, Running with the Giants: What Old Testament Heroes Want You to Know About Life and Leadership.
In the chapter of Esther, John C. Maxwell focuses on the phrase from Esther 4:14 which says, “and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” He shares his belief on how this question changed her mindset to realize that her privileges were not just for her pleasure, but that she had been put in the palace for a purpose.
Now Esther knew exactly what the dilemma was. She must somehow save the Jews and she must somehow get the king to help her. However, she did not know exactly how to go about doing this. She had not been asked to see the king for over 30 days. But she prayed and fasted and asked for many others to also pray and fast with her so that God would give her wisdom and direction. In the end she accepted that her life was in the Lord’s hand and that her job was to obey and do her part no matter the outcome. We see this when she says in verse 16, “I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”
I feel like many times I know what I must do or I think I know what I must do. But I do not remember to have this attitude of dependence on the Lord. He has me heading up a VBS program right now and heading up a Wednesday night children’s program, but am I doing it in my own strength? Many times, I must admit that I am not praying like I should and depending on the Lord. Even though He has placed me where I am “for such a time as this”, if I do it in my own strength, it will be a failure.
I guess I got out of this chapter something a little different than what John C Maxwell got out of it. He says wonderful things such as:
God not only has a place for us; He has placed us where He needs us. The decision is ours as to whether we will do what we can where we are.
For me, I was reminded more that I need to earnestly pray for God’s blessing in the area of ministries He has placed me. Now for you, you may not know why you are where you are and what God is trying to do through you. Then the story of Esther is a wonderful reminder that God does have a plan and can use you in ways that you may not understand right now. We definitely can also learn from Esther that God has a plan for our lives, yet in those plans we must depend and rely on Him.
When we need God’s grace, fasting and prayer opens the portals for spiritual growth, removes distractions and places us on a path to humility. (source)
Whether you are more like me right now in my season of life where you are already assured that God has placed you right where you are, but you need to depend more on Him to help you as you serve Him or whether you just need to be assured that God has a plan for your life, I pray that the life of Esther can be an encouragement to you this week.
Here is short article that I enjoyed reading called 6 Powerful Life Lessons from the Book of Esther.
Other John C. Maxwell blog posts include the following:
Running with the Giants Book:
- Moses: Live in the Faith Zone, Not the Safe Zone
- Nehemiah: We Need Help!
- Abraham: God Always Does the Right Thing
- Noah: Make a Difference!
- Joseph: Don’t Give Up
- Jonathan: Big Picture Thinking
- David: How’s Your Kid’s Heart?
- Naaman’s wife’s servant girl: One Small Act Can Make a Big Difference
- Rebekah: Going the Extra Mile
- Rahab: God’s Story is Full of Surprises
- Sarah: Waiting on God
- Ruth: Follow Your Heart?
- Hannah: God Answers
- Abigail: Never Underestimate the Power of One Small Act
- Miriam: Be Who God Made You To Be
Here are some posts I enjoyed reading from last week’s party:
- 4 Summer Tips for Special Needs Parents from Special Needs Essentials Blog
- 14 Tips to Get Your Kids Reading More This Summer from Lovin’ Life with the Littles
- 4 Tips for a Clean House without Working All Day from A Mama’s Story
- How To Have an Easy Summer from Jennifer Lambert
- 3 Questions to Help Christian Moms Thrive This Summer from Sarah E Koontz
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