“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14b (NKJV)
When I taught English in Japan, I wondered how different the Japanese students would be from American students. I knew how I was in class, but I thought the Japanese students would be more serious, taking everything soberly. What I discovered was kids are kids no matter where you are. I spent many a night in the classroom laughing at the antics of my young pupils. They whispered and passed notes and giggled just like I did so long ago.
It was then that I realized that people are pretty much the same everywhere. So, once I had that revelation, I began to read my Bible differently. What we read in scripture reflects the lives of real people. I love studying the women in the Bible. I also believe they were women like I am. A woman with doubts, tears, and fears.
Esther has traveled with me and been the subject of my thoughts since 2019. I am currently re-reading the book of Esther. I find her fascinating.
She was raised by her uncle. She was devoted to him and was obedient to his wishes. She was placed in court, pampered, given beauty treatments and ultimately selected to become queen. That, in itself is a girl’s dream come true. You leave your life and become a queen. How many of us girls dreamed such a dream in our youth?
But, I wonder if she didn’t question in her heart the decision to go to court in the first place. She most likely thought, “You want me to do what?” At least that is what I would have reasoned.
Esther was a Jew. It turns out that one of the king’s advisors wanted to destroy the Jewish race. Her uncle wanted Esther to intercede. She came up with excuses, how she couldn’t just go into the court and talk with the king, or how the king hadn’t called for her in a month. Don’t we all make excuses when we are asked to do something out of the ordinary? Excuses can flow rapidly when we don’t want to do something.
Her uncle answered back, “And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14 (NKJV)
A dose of reality hit her with these words. How many of us when hit like that are stunned? Hearing that maybe we are here for such a time as this is hard. I tend to think that the Lord has someone much more capable than me. I like sitting in my little corner living life as usual.
Today, while walking, the Lord spoke to me about this verse. I felt like I was supposed to write, but the first thing to pop in my mind was, You want me to do what? Then it was followed by, what if I disappoint You?
Obedience is never a disappointment to our Lord. After the excuses, Esther asked her uncle to gather together people to fast and pray for her for three days. After the excuses, the fear, the panic, she centered herself once more and accepted what was asked of her. The king accepted her presence in court, saved her people from destruction, honored her uncle and loved Esther.
Hard decisions may come to each of us. We can have the excuses. We can have our fears. We can (and usually do) panic. I will always yell, You want me to do What? But, with each task, the provision will also be there. It may not be easy. But, then again, it may.
We are on this earth at this time. We each have a purpose, a destiny, an assignment. For such a time as this.
In the book Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis Aslan tells Lucy, “You doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are.” I often have to remind myself to not doubt my value, to be myself. As I mentioned earlier, Esther was like women are today. She had the same emotions. She most likely, when asked to help she doubted her value. Today, we learn from her. Her representation of respect, obedience, submission, and example is what we can strive for, (and yes, that was an acronym for Rose).
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT) For such a time as this, age, gender, amount of faith does not disqualify us from having an adventure with our Lord.