A Time Like This

by Christina Rose

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?  Esther 4:14 NIV

When young Esther became queen, she may have felt like she won the lotto with life in a beautiful palace and all the fancy clothes and food she could ever want. But she was soon faced with a life-saving decision. She needed to go before the king and plead for the lives of her people. If she chose to approach him without a summons, he could kill her. Her courage to speak up spared her life and that of many thousands across the land.  

The Bible tells us “the tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21 NIV). Our tongue can save people, or it can tear them down. Most of us live with the regret of saying what we shouldn’t have, or not saying something we wished we had. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19 NIV).

Writing our thoughts down can often help formulate what we want to say. As the ink flows across the paper, subconscious thoughts come to the surface, revealing secrets we may have kept from ourselves. This happened to me recently as memories of a hurtful betrayal from many years ago flooded me with rage. As I sat there stewing, the still small voice said, “Speak up,” but I pouted, “No, I will never forgive them!” With God you can run, but you can’t hide. I thought I had buried this long ago, but He knew it was still festering. 

“Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 1:10-11 NIV).

I suddenly realized that Satan had trapped me in my anger and refusal to forgive. He may have fooled me for a while, but now his game was over. I went on a brisk walk by the lake to consider how I would speak to my friend. The good Father counts His kids, and when anyone is missing, He relentlessly pursues them until they are safely back in the flock. As my thoughts unfolded, I saw that God’s promptings were not only about forgiving my friend, but He also wanted to use me in saving His lost child, my friend who did not know Him.

At a time like this, when the world has been put on pause by the pandemic, there is a lot of fear and loss. Those who don’t know God may be feeling everything is spinning out of control. Just as Esther spoke up to save her people, this is a perfect time to speak up to those who are lost, to help them find comfort and peace in the Father who is waiting with open loving arms to welcome them into the fold.

As for my friend? I spoke up, and we are friends once again.

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” (Luke 15:4-6 NIV)

A Time Like This – insight and encouragement from Christian Rose on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

christina rose

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. A devoted mom of two daughters and great aunt to over 40 nieces and nephews, Christina loves spending time in nature and hosting gatherings for family and friends.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. Her marriage in shambles, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself. After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power that is available to us all, especially those who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: What is God calling you to do at a time like this?

Jiminy Crickets!

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

Have you ever had a cricket in your house? Next to flies and mosquitoes, they are the most annoying insects. When I hear one chirping, I have to find it and put it outside where it belongs. I don’t like bugs in my house, especially noisy ones.

Recently, I was talking with a friend of mine. Her three little boys have pet lizards living in aquariums on the shelf in their bedroom. Pet lizards are creepy enough in my book, but what’s worse is they eat live crickets. Natasha said they buy the crickets from a local feed store. Fishermen buy them for bait and little boys get them for their pet lizards. They come in a canister of 100.

A few weeks ago, Isaiah, her oldest son, fed five crickets to the lizards, put the canister back on the shelf, and went to bed. In the morning, when Natasha came down the hall, she noticed a cricket crawling across the floor. She thought one must have gotten out of the lizards’ aquarium. Then she saw another. And another. Opening the boy’s bedroom door, she found crickets crawling, hopping, and chirping everywhere.

Their kitten, who’d been shut up in the room all night, had found the crickets and knocked the canister off the dresser, breaking it open. They’d all made their escape. Natasha and the boys scrambled to catch as many as they could, but it was too late to get most of them. They’d already found hiding places. I can’t imagine having ninety-five chirping crickets loose in the house!

Once they were set free, these little bugs are almost impossible to recapture—they have a way of disappearing into the woodwork. You can’t see them, they’re small and might seem harmless enough, but the noise they generate can be deafening.

If you think about it, the words we speak can be like all those chirping crickets. Too often, even us Jesus followers, tend to say things we wish we hadn’t. But once it’s out of the mouth, those words can’t be recaptured. And they have a way of coming back to haunt us later. Like crickets, words keep on chirping long after they’re released.

How often have we heard the phrase, “All I said was…” after being offended by an offhanded remark? More than once I’ve lain in bed hearing my own words chirping in the night, thinking and worrying about what I said to someone earlier. Feelings have been hurt, relationships broken, friendships destroyed and even jobs have been lost over words thoughtlessly spoken.

The Bible says the tongue though one of the smallest parts of our bodies, can be like a spark that sets a whole forest ablaze (James 3:5).

In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about how we should be careful about the words we speak. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” And 1 Peter 3:10 says, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.”

There are many more Scriptures that tell us God wants us to think before we speak and consider how our words affect others.

Once again, it’s all about loving God and loving people—the two greatest commandments. Today, let’s try not to knock that can of crickets of the shelf. Ask the Lord to help you and remind you of the effect of your words—before you speak them.

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.                                                                                                                                Proverbs 29:20 NASB

Jiminy Crickets! – thoughts on the power of our words from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation: Have you asked God to guard your words as the holiday celebration approaches?