Divine providence is not always easy to read. I was reminded of this the other day when I read D. A. Carson's comments on Esther and Mordecai. If you are familiar with the story you know that there came a time in Esther's life when she was asked to put her life on the line for her people. Haman, the enemy of the Jews, was plotting to wipe out the Jewish people, and Mordecai reminds Esther that she was stragetically placed to appeal directly to the king on behalf of her people.
Even though it seemed like she had no other choice, she asks her people to fast and pray for her before she goes into the king. If Mordecai demonstrates that "God's people must act responsibly, wisely, strategically in light of the circumstances that play out around them, knowing that God is in control" (Carson - Love of God Volume 2 - January 27). Then Esther exemplifies faith and confidence in the living God and a willingness to put her life on the line for those who were precious to her.
Sometimes it is very difficult to know the will of God for our lives. Often there is more than one option. Or if there is only one, it is difficult and we are not sure if things will work out. In those times we must pray and encourage others to pray with us and then do what we think is best and leave the results with God. Looking back we can see God's hand in ways we cannot going forward but sometimes I think that is what faith is all about! Probably all of us need to pray, "Lord, increase my faith!"