Purpose in My Pain?
Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14
Looking back, it’s easy to see God’s hand working through my addiction. God used the miserable consequences of my toxic choices to change me. Now, I’m able to share Christ’s transforming power with others. In retrospect, it’s easy to see God’s purpose.
In the disaster though, I did not have the faith to look forward to what God could do with my mess. Enslaved to my addictive behavior, all I could see was the hopelessness.
I got to where I was through my own choices. Many though, seem to suffer through no obvious fault of their own. I may know little or nothing of your loss of loved ones, of your cancer, and of the hopelessness of your lives, but still, I know enough to be wary about the message of today’s passage.
In the story, Esther, a Jew chosen to be the queen of Persia, was placed in a position where she could prevent the genocide of her people, but at great risk to herself. A captive, forced into the harem of the king, her life could not have been easy. Mordecai, her cousin, insisted that she must use her position though, to do God’s will. He suggested that it was God’s design that she had been brought to that place, specifically to accomplish His purpose.
The problem for Esther, in that moment, was that she had a difficult choice and that choice determined whether she would see God’s purpose or not. Had she refused to get involved, Mordecai declared that God’s will would still be done, but that she would miss out on it.
Had I refused to abandon my addiction, I would still be wallowing in hopelessness. If Esther had refused to obey, she would have been lost. I can’t tell you that you will find some grand purpose in your misery, because I don’t know that. Some addicts die in their addiction and the purpose is left for others to struggle with.
I can tell you that in our trials, we must always seek God and His will. It is only in giving our disaster to God, that we will discover what He can do with it.