“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1.

This week I challenged everyone to pause and pray. I am talking about slowing down long enough in our everyday lives, no matter where we are, no matter whom we are with, to seek God’s wisdom when we feel the need for control in our lives. We are in a series called “Shameless: The Bad Girls of the Bible.” While we are talking about Jezebel this week, I would like to highlight the story of another woman in the Bible. The story of Esther and how she paused and trusted God. 

The story of Esther reads like a novel and is full of great spiritual lessons. The greatest being that God protects His people. He may not always do it in the way we think He should, but the book of Esther shows that He is in control even when we don’t see Him. An enemy named Haman wanted to destroy all the Jews in the kingdom. He convinced the king to pass a law for genocide of the Jewish race in Persia. Esther who is now queen is asked to speak on behalf of the Jewish people. 

Esther tells the king she has a request. She invites both the king and Haman to her house for a meal and she would tell her request at that time. But during the banquet, Esther was led to pause before sharing her request with the king. She was a woman who was willing to wait on the Lord, even if it didn’t make sense to her at the time. Her trust was firmly planted in God, in His will, and in His timing. She was willing to wait if that was what her Lord was guiding her to do.

And so she waited. “If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request and do what I ask, please come with Haman tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for you. Then I will explain what this is all about.” (Esther 5:8) Some of us might think she was just putting off the inevitable, and it would have been better for her just to get it over with. But again, we are going to see that God was working behind the scenes and He needed just 24 more hours to add an amazing twist to the plot of this story. Esther was right in line with what God wanted to do, as we will see in the rest of Esther 5 and on into Esther 6.

He does the same for us. When we pause and pray seeking His will, God is working behind the scenes, writing a story that is yet to be revealed. I believe God does some of His best work in the “pauses” of our lives.

Esther probably had a sleepless night, but an amazing turn of events was in the works. In Esther chapters 7 and 8 you can read about how the plot failed and the Jews were saved. We can do what Esther has done. Be faithful to the Word of God. Live in obedience to Him. Get instruction from friends and family who are wise and mature in the Christian faith. Pause and wait when we need to and then pray. Then, and only then, make a decision and go with it, trusting that God will work out all of the details as only He can.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever had a “pause” in your life lead to unforeseen opportunities?
  2. When you “pause” do you pray as well?
  3. Why are we so impatient when waiting for God’s timing?
  4. How can we make “pause and pray” part of our everyday lives?