Life is full of uncertainties. There are days where everything falls into place, and there are days where you watch the last cent drop from your bank account, wondering how you’re going to make a half jar of peanut butter last the week. The world has never made me a good promise that it could keep. Thankfully, there’s God.
In God, I have found two truths upon which to live life, and they lay the foundation of my faith.
- The days won’t always be easy.
- God will never leave me to face anything alone.
These two truths fuel me and motivate me in every triumph and trial. No matter what the world offers, those two truths have to be enough.
In Esther chapter 9, we see the nation of Jewish people banding together against their enemies. These people who had carried targets on their backs were now uniting and facing a future with the same two certainties. It wouldn’t be easy, but God would be standing with them.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces also assembled to protect themselves and get relief from their enemies. They killed seventy-five thousand of them but did not lay their hands on the plunder.
Their lot had been cast to be the victims, but they conquered greatly. They were given the ability to gather and defend themselves. The choice and the guidance of God was all they needed. And beyond achieving victory, they could have reaped whatever reward laid in their wake. Instead, they “did not lay their hands on the plunder”.
Though they had a legal right to take all of the riches they could carry, they accepted and relished in the victory of defeating their foes. That was enough. Easier days ahead and the continual presence of God were the spoils of this war.
If I fight for the plunder, I will fall. If I face my trials with the goal of acceptance or status in this world, I’ll keep looking more and more like the world. The certainties that the world offers through riches, fame, or popularity are, in fact, the most uncertain positions.
The world is a fickle place that does not set its eyes on the Lord. If we look toward the material gods of this world, we can be dropped from the summit of our pedestal just as easily as we were placed on it. And, sadly, the world seldom celebrates and rewards those who are immersed in the heart of God.
So, when the world sets you up for a fight or God has a tough plan for you, just know it won’t be easy. The hard things strengthen us. They make us rejoice in the days that we find light in the darkness. We don’t appreciate a candle’s flame in the bright sunshine just as we sometimes fail to appreciate the little blessings in a charmed life. The days that aren’t easy give us opportunity to see beauty and positivity, in so many moments where the light’s just a little bit brighter and we are just a little bit stronger.
And God is always there. We may face pain. We may face the impossible. But God makes it doable and worth it. That’s what we hold in our heart when we are in the battle of the everyday. I’m getting stronger, and my ever-present God is in the trenches with me. That is enough.