Women’s History Month

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and …

….who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

We change lives by the decisions we make. At the time, our decisions and choices may seem inconsequential but I do not think they are. No one stands alone; each life affects another.

Eve tasted a piece of fruit and it led to the fall of mankind. 

Miriam chose to join with gossip, critical of her brother. Leprosy. 

Rebekah helped her son, Jacob deceive Isaac – her husband and Jacob’s father. Jacob already established a bad reputation as a deceiver. Perhaps this is why Isaac doubted his son. God’s will was brought about, but what if God’s will was brought about without deception? We will likely never know. 

Ruth decided to stay with Naomi and to stay with Naomi’s God, when returning to her family might have been easier. She married Boaz, a rich and respected farmer and became the mother of Obed, who was father of Jesse, the father of David. King David. 

Orpah, Ruth’s sister-in-law, chose to go back to her unbelieving family. She is never heard from again.

As a grandmother, Lois invested into her grandson, Timothy. 

Queen Vashti did not honour her husband’s request to come to his party. She likely felt justified in her decision, but I imagine for the rest of her day’s she considered the cost of her choice.

We might say that Esther did not have a choice, but she did! Esther’s choices are chronicled throughout her book, beginning with trusting Hegai, the king’s chamberlain. His wisdom helped her to prepare to meet the king. She wisely accepted his counsel. As her stature increased, her responsibilities increased too, all from what we might think was an insignificant choice. The Jews were preserved by Esther’s choices.

Remember that in a moment our lives can change and the changes affect those around us. We may not see clearly in the beginning, but in time the clarity sharpens.

Rahab is a picture of a life poorly lived, then richly redeemed when she decided to trust and protect the spies. She was saved and her family. Her faith is spoken of in Hebrews.

Jocabed decided to try to save her baby, and made a small ark for him to be placed in the water. Moses. Her action saved many. Miriam did well here, staying at the waterside and helped coordinate her own mother to care for her brother, even though he was returned to the palace after he was weaned. 

Mary, often called the handmaid of the LORD, because she accepted the call of God on her life. What a choice to make, but possible because of the grace of God and her faith in Him. 

Consider other women that changed history; Clara Barton. Florence Nightingale. Susan B. Anthony. Indira Ghandi. And my mother. And your mother.

What decisions do we make today? When a mother decides to abort her baby, has she taken the life of a great scientist, an ambassador, a musician or a missionary? Perhaps the aborted child is the one that would grow to love and comfort her in her old age? Every child has a purpose, which God designs. Abortion destroys God’s plans for this child. Grievous.

Few choices are without long-term ramifications. Let me tell you about one of the fascinating theories I learned about years ago. It is called “The Butterfly Effect.” When it was first introduced over half a century ago, many people denigrated the theory; eventually it was proven to be scientifically plausible. There is a link below.

The gist of it is that if a butterfly flaps its wings, this movement will trigger another and that one another and so on. The result may be  devastatingly large.

I am not scientifically minded but I can grasp the idea and remind myself to embrace its truths. To me it means that the littlest gesture will have an effect, positive or negative. Remember the quote you learned in school. To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is Newton’s Law of Physics. Its principles parallel the Butterfly Principle. 

I’ve heard scientists describe the Butterfly Principle, but not in terms that I relate to. Here is a link to an explanation that is easy to understand and perhaps, hard to forget. I think about this story regularly and am encouraged that God wants to write the history of our lives.

Here are some examples of the butterfly effect and you may recognize some of them:

Did you know that a soldier was commanded to kill young Adolf Hitler, but did not? Yes; because he was already wounded this soldier let him go. What if that soldier chose to obey? What if Esther had not chosen to obey? One choice against God’s chosen people and one for.

The discovery of penicillin; haematologist and biographer, Robert G. Macfarlane,  said that the probability of the series of events occurring that brought us penicillin are highly unlikely. And yet, one thing after another “fell into place” and today we have this highly effective drug used to combat many kinds of infection.

Did you know that it was duct tape that caused the Watergate scandal? A  small piece of duct tape was placed over a lock and a security guard noticed it. Had the tape not been there or had he not not noticed it, history would surely be different today. One little piece of duct tape.  Ladies, what we do matters. Ask the person that used the tape. Ask the person that spotted it.

When we are prompted to write a card or a note and we do not, how much does it matter? To make a telephone call or to schedule a visit; how much does one call or visit matter in view of eternity?  I can only guess because I know what can happen when we do. How many times I have been told that someone has kept a note I have written them?

I have heard stories where a kind word to a clerk or during a brief encounter has stopped a suicide. What were the results of our harsh words? 

We may not know the effect a gesture can have on someone or many someones but do consider:

What happens when we leave a tract in someone’s hand, or on a table in a lobby? We don’t usually know, but the promises of God tell me that His Word does not return void or empty. We just don’t know. What we do know is that every time we withhold His Word, we’ve missed an opportunity to send it out. Time will tell the ramifications of our choices.

I picked up a tract at the county fair one day and my life changed forever. 

My husband told me that he wanted to go to take the Gospel back to India almost 30 years ago.  Consider if I had said “No.”  

How have you changed history? To be sure you have. We change history by our inactions as surely as we do by our actions.

I urge you to watch the video about THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, then think about how you have sent waves across the world! Love to hear your comments!