2016: Page 255

Page 255 was a Sunday so the morning was spent in Bible study and worship at the church building.  Our adult Sunday School class is going through the book of Esther and this week we covered chapter 3 where Haman begins his plot to exterminate the Jewish people.  While the story is one of God rescuing His people, using a person put in place just for that moment, it is also a story of how pride and arrogance can eventually destroy us.  Haman used his position of power and influence to shine the spotlight on himself.  His pride was appalled that not everyone thought as highly of him as he thought of himself.  His anger at Mordecai’s refusal to bow and worship anyone but God ended up being a path that led to his own destruction.

After the Sunday School class, I had a great time of worship at Deer Run where David began a series from Nehemiah with an initial focus from chapter one on the prayer life of Nehemiah.  The opening of Nehemiah is one of my favorite prayer texts for many of the same reasons that were brought out in the sermon, although the thing I find most appealing about his prayer life is his occupation — he was cupbearer to the king.  Not a prophet.  Not a priest.  Not a king.  Not in “professional ministry”.  A worker.  A (somewhat) ordinary guy.  An exile.  A professional ministering where he was at, and doing so through prayer, regardless of why he was there or how he got there — kind of like what Esther ends up doing after a little encouragement.

After the church service, we headed to lunch then spent some down time at home just relaxing.  It was such a beautiful day, with the sky filled with puffy white clouds, that we decided to head out to take some pictures.  Our first stop was South Haven to photograph some lake scenes with the lighthouse.  As we drove down the street from downtown to the beach, the most notable feature was the plastic “tent” covering the lighthouse — so much for lighthouse photos there.  I did get some photos I liked and a short video clip of the gentle waves coming ashore so it wasn’t a wasted trip.  We left South Haven and headed down to St Joseph where the lighthouse they were working on much of last summer was uncovered and ready to be photographed.  We stayed there through the sunset and then headed home with a stop at Five Guys for supper.

As I reflect on the day, I wonder if you and I are more like Haman or more like Esther and Nehemiah.  Do we think more highly of ourselves than we ought or do we put the needs of others above our own?  Do we expect others to think more highly of us than they should or are we willing to serve others according to their need?  Do we allow our pride and anger to drive our actions or do look to God for direction and purpose in what we do?  Do we manipulate those around us in order to get our way or do we spend time in fervent, reverent, honest prayer in order for God’s will to be done in and through us?  Do we think more of our position or more of how God can use the position He has put us in?  I don’t think any of us would readily say we’re more like Haman, but what do our actions and attitudes say about us?  

I pray that you and I would humble ourselves before God, and others, as we seek to serve Him with our whole heart.  I pray that we would seek to honor God by the way we live no matter where we happen to be.  I pray that we would live in such a way that we are ready for the day the sun sets on our life here on earth and we enter life in the presence of God.

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