Don’t Shrink Back

“So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised.

‘For in yet a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay, but my righteous one will live by faith, and if she shrinks back, I take no pleasure in her.’

But we are not those who shrink back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and are saved.”

Hebrews 10:35-39

This scripture is the theme verse for my current WIP. Finding a theme verse is such an important part of the writing process for me because it sets the entire story on a foundation of truth. My theme verse is very much like a lighthouse; It is the destination of where my story is going. I just need to follow the light.

Now, at first it seemed like my theme verse had been chosen for me. After all, my WIP is a retelling of the story of Esther, so wouldn’t my theme verse be “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” While that is a very famous verse from Esther, it wasn’t the crux of the story I want to tell. For Esther is about more than God’s Sovereignty over our lives (although that is an important part of it, for sure).

One of the reasons I was really drawn to Esther was because I felt like her story was always romanticized, I mentioned in a previous blog post. This has always bothered me because I think that what makes Esther’s story so amazing is how very dark it really is. Esther had a great deal to be afraid of, and the king was a big one! Here is an unorganized list of reasons why King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) would have been a very scary man to Esther (and probably wasn’t the love of her life):

  • He exiled his previous wife because she wouldn’t be paraded naked at a party.
  • When they were married He was 40 and she was 15.
  • He picked a second favorite from the harem directly after Esther was crowned.
  • His reign was marked continually by aggressive war strategies.
  • He was very easily presuaded by those around him, especially in violence.
  • Have you seen 300? Yeah the bad guy in that was this dude.

Alright, let me get off my tangent, but all in all, this guy was SCARY. When Esther goes before him in chapter 5, she has good reason to be very afraid of the king (after all, he hadn’t even wanted to see her for a whole month). It was a very real possibility that she would be killed, and that’s why when she says “If I perish, I perish” is so powerful. It’s not a throw away; she is acknowledging that her trust is in God, not in herself or the king’s favor.

I love this part of the story, because yes, God put her in a very important position for just the reason – to save her people from annihiliation – but it wasn’t easy. I love this part of the story! Because in order to do what God had placed her there to do, she still needed to trust and rely on Him for the courage to act. She truly had to decided if she was going to live by faith or shrink back and be destoryed.

And that is so encouraging to me. God does often give us opportunities in life to do great things for His glory, but it is still often times very scary to step out in faith. I can easily spot good reasons to be afraid: rejection, danger, failure, are usually at the top of my list. But rather than shrinking back from the opportunity, I can, like Esther, choose to live by faith and do something stupid scary in the pursuit of God’s glory.

So that’s why I chose Hebrews 10:35-39 to be theme verse!

I’m so excited to share this story with all of you in the future! I just surpassed 40,000 words and I’m almost halfway done with the first draft! Be sure to keep following me on instagram for more snippets and sneak peeks at my WIP and my life as a storyteller!

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