April 30, 2010

Such a Time as This

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)

I love the story of Esther. Love, love, love it. I mean, it's a fairy tale... in the Bible!! Think about it. Little girl from the projects is so beautiful she's selected to be one of the king's wives (ok, just ignore the polygamy). She spends months and months living in luxury just preparing to meet the king. Then she hears that her family, her people, are about to be destroyed by the king's right-hand man simply because Haman is distainful of Esther's uncle, who not only refused to bow to him but was given high honors for saving the king's life. So, at risk of her very own death, she goes to the king to beg for her people. But instead of flopping down on the floor and crying for mercy, she gives him an invitation--would he go to dinner with her? Intrigued at the fact that she risked her life for this one request, the king agreed. Then after a wonderful evening she asks only for another dinner, and another. Finally the king is so enamored with Esther's beauty and mystery that he offers her anything she wants, up to half of his kingdom. At this point she asks freedom for her people, and the king grants it, and strings Haman up on the noose that he had prepared for Esther's uncle.

I almost wish the Bible continued with "and they lived happily ever after."

But did you catch the important part here? Esther went to the king knowing that she could be summarily executed if he chose not to acknowledge her. Dude.

I mean, how often lately have you faced death in order to do something that God has placed upon you to do? Or think about it this way, would you be willing to face the death of your reputation? Of your bank account? Of your position in society? Would you be willing to lose all of this, for God's people?

Esther's uncle had the most amazing line in the whole story when he told her look, if you don't do this, someone else will rise up. But that doesn't mean that they'll save your family. You were chosen to be part of the king's retinue because of your beauty, but perhaps God gave you this beauty in order that you would be in this place, at this time, with the chance that our people need.

And I do have to say I love love love that part of what Esther did was make herself beautiful for her endeavor. I mean really, when you think about doing the work of God, do you think that means you have to focus on hair and makeup? Well, I think that we each have an arsenal of gifts, and as women one of our "tools" is our appearance. NO I'm not saying to wear a low-cut shirt to get your way in life. But it's just a known fact that beauty grabs attention. And hear this, ladies... confidence is beauty. Self-assuredness is beauty. So when you go to tackle your own trip to the king, be sure that you are using every tool in your arsenal, especially confidence in Christ, and self-assuredness in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit inside you. That is what will shine, that is what is beautiful, above and beyond your earthly charms. :)

Ok, back to Esther's realization that God placed her where she was so she could do His work. She was the only person in the entire kingdom who could intercede on behalf of her people. It's an extreme story, because few of us will ever be in the exact same situation. But think about this: No one is you, but you. You have a unique blend of work, home, family, interests, gifts, and abilities. No one is exactly where you are but you. Do you think that God might just possibly have a plan just for you? Some situation where he has placed you specifically to do His work? Whether it is saving a country or just one child, whether it is teaching young children or providing the best customer service in the world, whether sharing Truth through painting or being a "safe" person for all the teens at church to talk with, God has placed you where you are for a reason.

Sometimes the trick is having that reason pointed out.

And then acting on it.

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