Summary: God is always at work at we can trust Him, even when evil looks like it is taking over.
A. The story is told of a man who had just undergone a very complicated operation on his intestines, but kept complaining about a bump on his head and a terrible headache.
1. Since his operation had been on his abdomen, he couldn’t figure out why he had such a headache, but he kept bringing it up with the hospital nurse who was taking care of him.
2. Finally, fearing that the man might be suffering from some post-operative problem, his nurse spoke to the doctor about it.
3. The doctor assured the nurse, “Don't worry about a thing. He really does have a bump on his head, and I’m not surprised he has a headache. About halfway through the operation we ran out of anesthesia.”
4. That would be just my kind of luck, right?
B. Have you ever felt beat up by life? Have you taken your share of lumps on the head and perhaps the lumps of others as well?
1. Here’s a statement I think we all would agree with: Life is hard and sometimes it just hurts.
2. Charles Swindoll wrote: “Life and pain are synonymous. You cannot have one without the other.”
3. As you know, Job knew a lot about how much life can hurt.
a. In Job 14:1, he said, “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.”
4. You all are familiar with beautiful tapestry weaving.
a. In many ways life is a lot like a tapestry.
b. Stop for a moment and consider the tapestry of life.
c. Consider the fact that suffering is woven through the fabric of life.
d. Feel the underside where all the knots and ugly threads are.
e. In many respects, we can only see the underside of the tapestry, but God sees the top side and He knows the beautiful picture He is weaving using the knots and mess that is on the underside.
f. When our lives are over, we will be able to see the picture God has been working on all along, but in the meantime, we have to trust God.
5. The truth of the matter is that before Adam and Eve sinned, the world was a better place and much of our suffering is the result and consequence of sin.
a. With the coming of sin came the curse of pain and suffering, and ultimately, the sorrow of death.
6. Because pain and suffering are a part of this fallen world, and we cannot escape it, then our goal needs to be to learn to endure it and triumph over it with God’s help, while learning the lessons only pain can teach us.
C. You might be asking: So, what does all this have to do with our story of Esther?
1. Well, even in Esther’s lovely Cinderella story, evil is about rear its ugly head.
2. As you will recall, everything in the story was turning out so well.
a. King Xerxes is happy - He has found a new queen, Esther, the young woman who is beautiful inside and out.
b. Esther, the orphan girl has been crowned the queen and no doubt she is happy.
c. Mordecai is happy and the nation is rejoicing.
d. So all is well, right?
3. It is at this very good and happy point that evil is about to interrupt everything.
a. Should any of us be surprised by that?
b. Isn’t that the way Satan often works? When good is winning, that’s often when he strikes.