Thursday, August 23, 2012

V'nahafoch hu!

Reverse it, turn it upside-down, flip it over! This Hebrew phrase has recently become a major theme for Hannah and I in our lives and in our prayers.

We learned it through the story of Esther in the Bible, which we studied a bit last spring for Purim, and are now studying in more depth. So many reversals of destinies in this story! Esther was an orphan raised by a male cousin, and became the most beautiful queen in Persia. Haman was the king's most powerful right-hand man and planned a horrific genocide, and he ended up hanging - by the king's command - from the very gallows that he himself built in his own backyard. The king is initially threatened by his feminist first wife, and ends up changing the course of history based on a request from his second wife. And Mordecai! Oh, dear Mordecai... from sackcloth and ashes outside the castle gates to royal position within its walls. From feasts celebrating the king's power, to feasts celebrating God's providence and deliverance of his loved ones. V'nahafoch hu, and Hallelujah!

As Hannah and I meditate on this truth that God can and will reverse destinies and flip circumstances upside-down, we pray for it to happen here and now, in our lives and in the lives of our dear friends.

When we feel hurt and rejected - v'nahafoch hu! - let us be healed by the Great Physician and wrapped in his loving arms of acceptance.
When obstacles pile up before us as though to stop us or discourage us - v'nahafoch hu! - make them as stepping stones that make us grow stronger and draw closer to You.
When we are frustrated and confused and worried and tired of fighting - v'nahafoch hu! - fight for us and sustain us unto victory.

For those whose dreams have shattered - v'nahafoch hu! - give them newer, bigger, more amazing dreams than they could have imagined on their own.
For those who are in bondage to legalism and religion and cultural demands - v'nahafoch hu! - set them free by Your power to follow you and be in relationship with You, as you promise that your burden (your legalistic demands) is light.
For those who are lonely and abandoned as physical or emotional orphans - v'nahafoch hu! - draw them to Yourself and adopt them as your own sons and daughters and heirs to Your promises.

To the hopeless, bring hope;
to the restless, bring rest and peace;
to the weak, bring strength;
to those who mourn, bring comfort;
to the poor in spirit, bring the kingdom of God;
to those who hunger and thirst for You, satisfy them - v'nahafoch hu!

In what ways in your life do you need a reversal of destiny? Pray that the God who turned it all around in the story of Esther will do the same for you.

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