In the book of Esther, we see an inspiring story for people experiencing difficult and dangerous times. Mordecai reached out to his cousin, Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the King of Persia, admonishing her to use her influence to save the Jewish population living in the empire from total destruction.
“…After that I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16b)
The aforementioned text shows that Esther made the decision to risk her life for the good of her Jewish people. She knew her husband had a volatile spirit. She knew the risk involved in approaching her husband without an invitation. She specifically stated, “If I perish, I perish.” Following the Jewish tradition during difficult times, she and all her servants fasted for 3 days and 3 nights before she approached the king.
Fortunately, fasting and prayers resulted in a miraculous deliverance for the Jewish people in the kingdom. Esther persuaded the king to retract an order for the total destruction of the Jewish people throughout the empire. The massacre was plotted by the king’s chief minister, Haman, and the date decided by casting lots.
Often we focus intently on the details of our difficulties as if the difficulties themselves were the most important thing in the world. Surely, God is more concerned with how you respond to your trials than with the trials themselves. Despite the fact that we don’t have a choice about the bad things that happen to us, we can control how we respond – in faith or unbelief, in humility or arrogance, in hope or despair.
Esther’s experience teaches us that we should not wait to take a step for something until when we are guaranteed a positive outcome. Faith inspires bold action. “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:13). Step out in faith and do what God is calling you to do! You are not ahead of your time; You have not missed your time. You are here for such a time as this!
What’s your answer to the question, why were you born? Esther was born to save Judah from destruction. Like Esther, tests and trails will shape who you are and how you behave. Paul said, “You are His [God’s] workmanship created together in Christ Jesus unto the good works that God has before ordained that you should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Don’t wait for others to do for you what you can do. Get involved, and enjoy the results of sharing in your God-given purpose. What have you been delaying because of fear?
Certainly, our calling is impacted by our circumstances. Many people face the same problems and handle them differently. If after some reflections, you remembered missed opportunities to take a step for God; if you have failed a co-worker or family member and memory of that experience is troubling your mind, hindering your prayer life, or hindering true worship, take it to Jesus in prayer.
It is my prayer that you will become instruments for God for such a time as this.
Grace and blessings on your path,
Rev. Dr. Peter E. Grinion, Pastor