If you haven’t found out by now, it’s time you know: we’re moving. For the past several months, my wife and I have had this looming sense that there’s somewhere else that God wants us. After what seems like thousands of resumes being sent out, we’ve come to the conclusion that Holdrege, Nebraska is where we’re supposed to be. If you know anything about Holdrege, you know that it’s considered the best place to raise a family in the whole state of Nebraska, and from what Amanda and I can tell from a couple short visits out there: it truly is. The people are down-to-earth, the atmosphere is inviting, and the community is almost too good to be true. A few short weeks ago, I accepted a call to be the Pastor of Student Ministries at Trinity Church. Opportunity knocked, and Amanda and I knew it was time to open the door.
The Old Testament story of Esther is one that reads much like a short novel. It’s filled with excited twists, and nerve-racking moments of faith. Esther wasn’t always a queen. She grew up parentless, in a Jewish household, but eventually God entrusted her with the position of Queen. At the same time, her people were in danger. God’s chosen people faced extermination, like they did several times throughout history. Though, this time was different. A decree was sent out directly by the King, making it legal for the extermination of the Jewish people. Esther was given a unique position beside the King to do something about it. Opportunity knocked just like it does in all of our lives today. It was what happened next that’s worth writing about.
Open The Door
Even though Esther was the Queen, things weren’t so good. In fact, her world was falling apart. Her people were at risk of being wiped from the face of the earth. She was at risk of extermination herself. As Queen, she could either sit back and watch her people die (and hope nobody finds out that she was Jewish too!), or she could do something about it. It wasn’t easy for Esther, but she knew she had to do something. A decree had been given by the King. If one were to disobey the King, bad things could happen. Esther gathered up the faith to stand in the midst of the King and say, “Stop!“. For Esther, opportunity knocked and she opened the door.
Opportunity knocks for each and every one of us. Whether it’s an opportunity to give financially, or to share with those around us how God has worked in our own lives. Opportunities to do good and to share the love of Christ are everywhere! But these opportunities never come easy. Acting on opportunity takes faith. Amanda and I know just how hard it is when opportunity comes around. Everything comes with a cost. For us, moving to Nebraska brings us 13.5 hours away from family. It’s not easy, but when opportunity knocks we need to open the door.
The decree had been issued. Esther, as Queen, had the opportunity to do something about it. For her, even as Queen, it wasn’t easy. Her cousin Mordecai, who helped raise Esther, gave her a piece of advice that’s worth remembering…
“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” -Esther 4:14 (ESV)
Mordecai reminds Esther of God’s sovereignty. He reminds her that she’s been put in place by God for a reason, and that she shouldn’t pass up on a God-given opportunity. Esther realized that Mordecai was right. Some opportunities are given to us by God. These are the ones we should never pass on. Amanda and I came to the realization that the opportunity to do ministry in Nebraska was one that was God-given.
This upcoming change isn’t going to be easy. These past few years at Hillside Bible Church in mid-Michigan have been a great learning experience. I’ve been blessed with a wide variety of opportunities. I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime. I’ll miss interacting with the youth group on a weekly basis. We’ll both be sad to leave what we know for what’s so new and uncertain. But at the same time, Amanda and I are excited to follow God’s call together. We’re looking forward to our new journey. When you’re following God, the future can be uncertain. But I do know that whenever opportunity knocks, it’s time to listen!
P.S. – Be sure to follow Amanda’s blog as we make the journey west!
(Photo by: Statson Photography)
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