"Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah..."
I'm thinking about Esther today. Someone very close to me is struggling, and we had a chance to talk a little today. First I tried to help her put her emotions and fears in the background, so that the facts would rise to the top. I tried to help make things clearer for her.
And then I advised her to read something in the Bible. But what to read? So the next part of our conversation was about the Bible. When I'm in an emotional place, or when I'm in a quandary, I try to choose purposefully which book I should read. When I need beautiful words, I go to Psalms. When I need wisdom, I go to Proverbs, or James.
Some of them are sort of obvious, I think. I mean, most people know that Proverbs = wisdom. But other connections are personal. John's gospel, and the Book of Joshua are comforting to me. I've loved them for years.
The Book of Acts is one I go to when I feel like things are confusing. Acts is very much a book of facts. They went here and did that and said this. Straightforward history.
Some books are good for simply taking my mind off of my own life. Genesis has so many great adventures by some great Bible heroes: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph... And 1 and 2 Samuel have a lot of David's life for us.
Esther and Ruth are good for that, too. Fairly short, almost novels. Interesting characters; good guys, bad guys, and a compelling plot. And all true!
Sometimes, however, I might find I need a good talking-to. In those cases, I'll head to one of prophets. Jonah, Haggai, Amos, Malachi... they tell it like it is. Paul's letters are good, too. After all, those were written to people in the very same circumstances in which we sometimes find ourselves: misled, confused, off-track.
I asked my friend what book she thought she should read. What book she'd like to read. And at first she didn't know. She was crying and frustrated, and almost couldn't think. "I don't know," she said a few times.
But after a minute, she quietly said, "I like Esther." I kinda grinned to myself, because I should have remembered that. I know she loves that book. I should have sent her right there.
But maybe it's better that it wasn't me who remembered. This way, He's the one who sent her there.
He is the giver of all good things, and that includes His Word. Read it, know it, love it. Seek it, hear it, receive it. Find the books you love or need, and sink deep into it. It's for you.
~ "you shall rejoice in all the good things
the Lord your God has given to you" ~