by Sandra Allen Lovelace @SandraALovelace

Terri sensed it when she decided to tell her friend how the dress really looked.
Sue caught it when she chose to give her boss an honest answer about his idea.
They both trembled over possible reactions to their comments.

Have you ever felt as if you were taking your life into your hands like that?
You had no idea what would happen, but you ignored the risk and spoke.

Would you be so bold, if you faced literal, physical death?

Not me.

But that’s what confronted Esther the day she stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall.** If King Xerxes was pleased to see her, he’d extend his scepter in welcome. If he was displeased, he’d order her execution. Those were the rules of the day.

She was prayed up and dressed up, but Esther had no idea how she’d be received.
Were her palms sweaty? Was her mouth dry? Did her imagination run pleas for mercy?

We don’t know how long her ordeal lasted, but eventually …

When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand.

Did her fingers fly to her lips or tears spring to her eyes? Were her steps steady as she approached and touched the tip of the scepter? Had nightmares plagued her? Did they vanish or persist?

There’s a lot we don’t know about Esther’s experience. One thing we do know is that it need not be ours.

With God we never have to face that kind of life or death pressure. We can go to Him with anything and everything. We can speak with bare-faced, utter honesty, even the kind that reflects our churning emotions, and know He will extend mercy. As a matter of fact, He invites us to do so over and over as He calls us into an intimate, personal relationship.

We never need to be plagued by the question, ‘Will I receive judgment or mercy?’ because Mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13).

Take heart, Dear Friend. No need to keep watch for a scepter.
Drink in the Truth, reality, facts about divine mercy and the One who provides it.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you (Isaiah 30:19).

In all their distress he [the LORD] too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old (Isaiah 63:9).

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3b).

For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers which he confirmed to them by oath (Deuteronomy 4:31).

But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house, in reverence I will bow down toward your holy temple (Psalm 5:7).

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Is there an aspect of mercy that causes you to struggle?
I’d love to pray with you for clarity and comfort.

Bathing myself in His mercy,

*NIV1984, unless otherwise noted
**All quotes on the account are from Esther 5.

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