A Surprise Party from God

My daughter at age 4

November 13, 2022

This week we read the book of Esther. Before we talk about the book, I want to share about a time where God had plans for my life that I was not aware. I call this situation “my surprise party from God.”

Think about what happens before a surprise party. Someone who loves you makes plans that you are unaware of. They arrange a party with food, activities, people, and gifts and you are clueless. Then you come home or to the event space and “Surprise!” There is a very special day awaiting you.

This happened to me on March 28, 2002, the day my daughter was born. You see, I wasn’t planning on having a 3rd child. I had 2 boys age 2 and 3. After my 2nd child was born, I struggled with post-partum depression, and did not want any more children. Because of this, my husband had “the surgery.” I felt very strongly for some time that I did not want any more children, and that included adoption, even though my husband really wanted to adopt. I did not know my husband was praying for my heart to change.

A few months before my daughter was born, I babysat for a friend who just had a newborn girl. After watching her, “I wish I could have another baby.” Also, at the time my husband was struggling with his work. We were both really going through a difficult time.

On March 27, 2002, I had been praying for whatever God’s next step was in my life. I felt there was going to be a change, but did not know what it was. I read these verses along with others, in the Bible that night while praying:

  1. Proverbs 27:1, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
  2.  29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
  3. Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

That night my husband, a physician, called about midnight. A teenage girl had been in an accident with her boyfriend, was pregnant, and came into the ER. She thought she was 20 weeks pregnant and asked for help. He told her he would do whatever it took. When he called me, he asked if I would be willing to adopt a child if she wanted us to be the child’s parents. I said, “yes.” She was taken to the OB floor, and the next morning transferred to a high-risk OB hospital. We did not think we would hear anything more. That night, about 5:00 pm we received a phone call from a social worker at the hospital the woman had been transferred. She was not 20 weeks pregnant, but 30 weeks, and delivered the baby girl. The baby was healthy, and she wanted us to be the adoptive parents.

We were ecstatic, but did not know the next steps. We prayed a lot. It was the day before Good Friday, and I knew nothing about adoption. I called an adoption agency and they were closed. I talked with friends, and one told me about a group in Indianapolis that helped write the adoption laws. I called them and they called us back. They first asked if we wanted to adopt a different child and give this one to someone else. We, of course, said “no.” They told us to meet them at the hospital 2 hours away that evening with cash in hand. We had just happened to receive a large tax check, so actually had the cash available. I called my prayer partner Judy and she followed us to the hospital praying the whole way.  Everything was going so fast.

We met the social worker at the hospital and she took us up to meet the child’s parents. We had the opportunity to share Christ with them and pray. Many tears were shed. We signed the legal paperwork and got to meet our new daughter that day. She was in the Neonatal Intensive Care, but was doing very well. That day was March 29, 2002 and was the day that God gave me a surprise party.

At that time in our life, we were going through a difficult time. God knew this, but still had a great plan going on behind the scenes. He was taking care of the situation at my husband’s job so that he would be someone the birth mother would want to have as their child’s adoptive father. God changed my heart about adoption and about having another child. He enabled us to have the finances required for that day to adopt. He allowed this teenage girl to become pregnant and deliver a beautiful baby girl.

We thank God for that time in our life and for our daughter. She is 20 years old currently.

How does this relate to the story of Esther? God is working behind the scenes in Esther and has a great plan for her life.

Esther lost her parents as a child and was raised by her uncle Mordecai. King Xerxes had divorced his wife Queen Vashti and was going to have a new wife. Esther was brought to the king along with many other young women. The king chose her to be his wife. One day, Mordecai was at the gate and heard 2 men conspiring to kill the king. He told Esther, and she told the king and these men were put to death. This was written in the king’s log.

One of the king’s officials, Haman, was plotting to kill all the Jews. He manipulated the king to agree to the murder of the Jews on a specific day in all 127 provinces that he ruled over. Mordecai went to Esther tried to persuade her to talk with the king.

Esther 4:6-14 says, “Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

I want to point something out in the above verses. Mordecai says that if Esther remains silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from somewhere else. God’s plan was for the Jews to live on and if Esther would not step up, God would have someone else carry out His plan.

Then Mordecai said, “…who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Mordecai knew the God’s sovereign control. He knew that God was in control and had a plan and purpose. He thought that Esther was the Queen because of God’s plan to save the Jews.

Guess what? Queen Esther did reach out to the king. He granted her request, and in the end, the Jewish people were saved.

God is always at work in our lives, even though we don’t recognize it, just like someone throwing a surprise party. Esther’s “surprise party” was that God was working to have the Jewish nation saved from annihilation and He used a Jewish woman in the role of Queen to accomplish the work.

Question: How are you doing today? Are you wondering where God is in your life? Maybe you are not really even thinking about God.

God is in your life and He is working behind the scenes on your behalf. You may not know everything that He is doing, but he does.

Remember Romans 8:28  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”

Remember this verse as well, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Next week we will read Job 1-14. Have a blessed week.

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