Do you have any embarrassing memories that, no matter how hard you try to forget, always seem to creep back? I went to a Christian school in fourth grade where we had a weekly church service. The speakers typically passed out candy if someone answered a question, but I was always too nervous to raise my hand. Well, one fateful day, a certain Bible verse was shown on the screen, and the speaker asked where the verse could be found.
Without thinking, I raised my hand and blurted out, “The Bible.”
Of course it was from the Bible! I felt so embarrassed when the teachers began to laugh. Obviously, they wanted to know the specific book in the Bible. After that experience, I wasn’t willing to raise my hand again for quite some time.
For a while, this memory brought on shame and humiliation. But it didn’t have to be a source of such feelings. It kept me from participating because I was afraid of messing up again.
This past weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder talked about a very important person in the Bible—Esther. If you fast forward to the end of the story, you see how she bravely saved her people, the Jews, from genocide. But at the beginning, you would not expect her to be a hero.
5 At that time there was a Jewish man … whose name was Mordecai son of Jair. … 6 His family had been among those who … had been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. 7 This man had a very beautiful and lovely young cousin, Hadassah, who was also called Esther. When her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter.
Esther was not only an orphan but part of a people in exile, making her a slave as well. Who would have expected that she would save the Jews? She had a lot more to carry around than a grade school mess-up. But God loves to choose the unexpected.
1 Corinthians 1:28
God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
God chooses people “counted as nothing,” people who are unexpected. He chose Esther, and he wants to invite you into an adventure as well.
Are there any memories that weigh you down? Is there anyone you can share them with, any way to find freedom from that voice of shame?
Share something that has been giving you a false identity with someone you trust. Or take it a step further and join a group that will help you find freedom from sins in the past. Ask God to use you in his adventure.
Father, there are many things in my past that weigh me down. I give them all to you. Please use me in your incredible story. Help me listen to anything you have to say, any steps you want me to take. Thank you for choosing me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Lydia Snyder. Lydia has been a story-lover for as long as she can remember, often found reading books or writing. She is thrilled to be making a difference by inspiring others to take part in the best story ever – God’s story. Lydia lives with her three wonderful siblings and two amazing parents.
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