The Book of Esther in the Bible is a fascinating story about a Jewish girl who won a royal beauty pageant and was chosen to be queen. She became aware of a plot to wipe out the Jews, and she determined to beg the King for mercy for her people at the risk of her own life. The most famous verse in Esther is where her uncle is counseling her in how to proceed and spurring her on to courage. He tells her, “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” It is an inspirational story that is still celebrated in the Jewish holiday of Purim and in the commencement speeches of Christian schools all across America. But the astounding thing about the Book of Esther is that the name of God is not mentioned once. Not Once!
Even with the lack of direct mention, no one can doubt that this book belongs in the Bible because we see God’s fingerprints all over the arranging of events and lining up of “coincidences”. In the olden days they would have called that “Providence”. In modern Christianese we call these “God moments” or “Divine appointments”. It doesn’t really matter what you call it. There are just times when God reaches down into the space-time continuum and gets involved in human lives or in history on a grand scale. God is not a far off, distanced ruler. He is intimate. Another name for God is Emmanuel which literally means “God with Us”.
I love those moments when you look back and see that God was guiding the details of your life. I love finding God’s fingerprints all over the place, evidence that He is God with Us. Part of my responsibilities as Vice Principal include beating the bushes for new teachers. This year nearly our entire staff changed. Some of the positions were filled from connections that other teachers had. Some of them came directly from my circle of acquaintances. And some of them were Divine appointments- pure God.
For example, we had filled the 4th and 5th grade positions with relative ease. But the 6th grade class was still vacant. We interviewed several people, and nothing was fitting together right. Both the principal and I decided to pray specifically that God would lead us to the right person. I felt that God was saying to me, “This person is not going to come from YOUR resources.” So I had no idea what God had in mind! OK, God, surprise me.
One day the Assistant to the Principal and I were the only two in the office. In walked a young lady who simply asked, “Do you have any teaching positions available for September? I’ve been taking classes at the language school this summer and I’ve decided that I want to stay in Costa Rica.” The Assistant and I exchanged big-eyed looks. I interviewed her on the spot, exchanged email addresses with her, and that was that. A miracle literally just walked in the door.
Then this week, another miracle was handed to us directly by God. As you know, our second grade teacher quit just 2 weeks before the first day of school… 8 days before teacher orientation. That day I spent a lot of time in prayer, asking the Lord to provide the right person that He had in mind. I posted the plea for teachers on Facebook, and over a dozen of my friends reposted my status or forwarded it to friends of theirs. A friend of a friend connected me with the name of a girl and I sent her a message. I explained the job and asked if she would be interested. She told me that she had been specifically praying for a teaching position in Costa Rica for this school year! And she could be here in a week! “And who knows that you have come here for such a time as this?” I am totally flabbergasted at how God pulled that one off.
I was at the end of my resources. I had already asked every teacher I knew in Costa Rica during the previous teacher search. I had exhausted all of my connections in every direction. So when this need came up, I was empty handed. I went to the Lord as a pauper, a beggar. And I am astounded at His extravagance. Divine appointment or God Moment… whatever… God was in the House and His fingerprints are all over the place.