This week, my husband and I celebrated our thirty-ninth anniversary. Next year, for the fortieth, there will be balloons!

I’m not going to tell you how we “gifted” one another this year, but it screams, “Gosh, you guys are getting OLD!”

The funny thing is, after thirty-nine years, we don’t need anything more. And we really wanted what we bought.

Curious?

I’m not telling!

Let’s just say we should be healthier for our fortieth next year because of it. It was the right gift for “such a time as this.”

I love Esther 4:14. That verse taught me that God puts us in situations, circumstances, and opportunities we didn’t plan for but are, nevertheless, our “appointments” with God.

Marrying Jim in 1980 was just that: God’s appointment for our lives. I’m glad we kept that one.

Queen Esther said yes too

Queen Esther was encouraged by her uncle to approach the king and beg him to spare the lives of the Jewish captives.

Her uncle said, “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).

Esther was not the person people would have nominated to save a nation, but she was the person God chose to use.

Why did Esther save her people?

She sacrificed her own plans and kept God’s appointment instead.

Is that the theme of your favorite Bible story as well?

Keep God’s appointments

  • Abraham packed up his family and left the only home he had ever known. He didn’t know where he was going, but he knew the One who had told him to go.
  • David could have made himself king much earlier but waited in exile until God said it was time.
  • Peter left his lucrative fishing business under the administration of others in order to follow Jesus.
  • Paul was on the Pharisees’ ladder of success when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.

There are also stories of people who didn’t keep God’s appointment:

  • Moses brought the people to the edge of the Promised Land, but fear and listening to the wrong advice kept him from making it his home.
  • The rich young ruler chose to keep his “stuff” instead of his appointment with God.
  • Countless Jewish religious leaders chose to teach their ideas about the Messiah but didn’t follow him when they had the chance. In fact, most wanted him to die. Instead of keeping their appointment with God, they created their Messiah’s appointment with a cross.

One of the central themes of Scripture is worth noting: God sets appointments for people.

Those appointments are our greatest opportunities to obey God, fulfill his plans, and earn his favor and blessings. Those opportunities will provide fulfillment and joy for our earthly lives.

But, we have to choose to keep our appointments.

Choose whom you will serve

Jim and I both had other “options,” but thankfully we chose one another.

Jim could have chosen someone who loved touring every church and every museum on vacation. Jim could have chosen someone who loved reading every word of every display in those places.

He didn’t.

I could have chosen someone who loved to dance or loved the beach. I could have chosen someone who enjoyed parties and movies with a plot instead of aliens and explosions.

I didn’t.

Instead, we both chose to keep the appointment God arranged. We chose each other and, as “iron sharpens iron,” we are blessed as a result.

We have been able to serve God together, and we have helped each other recognize and keep other “God appointments” as well. (Unless those appointments were at a random museum . . . . I might have kept Jim from a few of those.)

Listen for God’s appointments

None of us ever would have heard of Queen Esther if she had said no to her appointment with God.

She had a choice and she made it. She chose to be brave. She chose to change her plans. She chose to risk everything in order to keep God’s appointment. She chose well!

Another of my favorite Bible verses says, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).

This life is a journey, but none of us walks it alone. God is there and he speaks. Through his Holy Spirit, we can recognize the many appointments he wants us to keep. They will be different than what you have planned. They will probably interrupt whatever you wanted to do. They might even require you to make a sacrifice.

But, if the voice behind you, or within you, says, “This is the way, walk in it,” choose to go. God wants to guide you through your most important decisions.

I’m grateful that when I considered marriage, I asked God for his direction. That choice made all the difference.

God’s forgiveness is available when we don’t ask. God’s favor is promised when we choose to obey his voice. Desire his favor instead of depending on his forgiveness and your life will be blessed now and eternally.

Are you reading these words “for such a time as this?”

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