Silence in a Time Like This
Updated: Jun 15, 2022
“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)
Three months or whatever into this pandemic, I have flitted between having times of deep prayer and choosing to sleep in the mornings before my nursing shifts. I think the feelings of dread have lifted, and at work we have somewhat resigned ourselves to the new normal, the new status quo of a world with Covid-19. There is not much we can do about it. The barrage of news this year is just too much some days to handle, so I either pray, or I sleep.
As there are fewer social interactions at this time, I have found that I have also been more silent. I rarely post anywhere, and I only have a few check-ins with people here and there. I shut down when feeling overwhelmed and focus on one thing at a time. Nursing takes up much of my energy, and I am constantly surprised at the patience of my loved ones, both near and far.
As I watched the Alpha video that was played this past Sunday, the above verse is the first thing I thought of. It just struck me like a bolt of lightning. Two phrases have always stuck out to me from this verse in the story of Esther: “for if you remain silent… deliverance… will arise from another place” and “who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
The first, with that “if,” implies that to NOT be silent takes courage, and that God will still use another to bring about his plans (Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 14:27; Acts 5:39). Pastor Mark asked us to pray about someone who could benefit from a series such as Alpha… and then to not be silent and to ask them to join us. By staying silent, we can miss out on partnering with God in whatever plans He has. I have serious fear of missing out, which is sometimes at odds with my lack of courage. That is Satan talking, because how many times has God said, “Do not be afraid” and that we have power through His Spirit?
The second phrase reminds me that there are no coincidences in God’s plan. It is orchestrated perfectly. As adopted sons and daughters of the King of Kings (Romans 8:14-17; 1 Timothy 6:15), we are in a “royal” position to act—and we do not act alone (John 8:12). I don’t think we each have to act in the same way, but we have each been called to act in some way. This is where discernment is key for me; I am still trying to figure this one out.
Praying along on Sunday, I am still not sure how or to whom God is leading me. I do not know if I can attend and bring someone to Alpha, for example. But my silence serves no one, and it is hard to act when silent. Hopefully, you feel that stirring too!