Thriving When God Seems Distant
by Chris Altrock
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Some of Esther's peers, like Daniel, lived with a distinct advantage: they experienced the mighty, miracle-making wonder of God. Esther, on the other hand, was surrounded by extravagant wealth and impiety in the disenchanted empire of Persia. Faith wasn't easy in a place like this, but thankfully, Esther learned there was more to God than what she could see.
Today's suffering and cynicism can leave us feeling that God is long gone. But, in truth, he is still present and active in our lives. In slow, mundane, and even obscure ways, he is pursuing us and repairing our broken world. Follow Esther as she models ten practices that connect us with a seemingly distant God and his unexpected work in the world.
What a fresh and creative opening-up of the Esther story! In our time - somewhat like Esther's time - God is more hidden in the culture. Altrock highlights twelve spiritual disciplines Esther practiced to engage the ancient Persian culture, which he recommends for us in our time. Engaging and beautifully done!
--Leonard Allen, author of Poured Out: The Spirit of God Empowering the Mission of God and Dean of the College of Bible and Ministry at Lipscomb University
Despite the position evil has on the center stage of history, the righteous God of Esther writes and directs the human tragedy. Though unseen in the depressing play of godless injustice, Esther's invisible God still determines when the curtain falls upon the grand finale of agony. Chris Altrock's book Behind Esther provides realistic hope and longed for inspiration that enlivens endurance in the masked faces of the off script characters of pride, prejudice, and politics.
--Jerry Andrew Taylor, associate professor of Bible and Ministry at Abilene Christian University
All of us long to be more than ordinary. Altrock's fresh and insightful investigation in to the life of an ordinary and ill-equipped woman shows us how powerful ordinary can be. The same God who transformed the Jewish orphan Esther into a world-changing queen is willing and able to transform us.
--Lynne Gentry, author of The Carthage Chronicles