Pay Attention for “Esther Moments”
If you aren’t familiar with the book of Esther in the Bible, here is a brief recap. Esther is a poor Hebrew girl who, through a strange and disturbing series of events, is vaulted out of her lowly position to be crowned queen of Babylon. Haman, the king’s right hand man, is plotting to destroy all of the Jews and tricks the king into signing an edict approving of this genocide. Esther, as both a Jew and the queen, is suddenly found to be in a unique position to step in and try to stop this tragic event from happening. Esther’s uncle Mordecai comes to Esther and urges her not to remain silent, and poses this question:
And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)
Esther enters the king’s presence (something that potentially could be punished by death) and makes her case. The king creates a counter edict to protect the Jews and eventually the Hebrews are saved and Haman is put to death.
When Courage and Opportunity Meet
Esther was placed by God into a unique position to make a difference. No other person had the influence to sway the king. Likewise, no other person was as admired by the king as Esther. These circumstances allowed her to be a unique answer to prayer and deliver God’s people from death. She courageously risked her life to do the right thing when the opportunity arose, and her actions made a world of difference.
You and I may not be people of such power or position, yet we too can have “Esther moments” – situations in life where God has uniquely placed us to step in and make a difference. This doesn’t mean we should walk around thinking we are heroes in the waiting. I’m not advocating a saviour complex. But I am putting forth that each of us has been placed in unique situations that are unlike anyone else’s, and God uses such things to accomplish his purposes. He sovereignly orchestrates our lives to do his will. Another Biblical example is the apostle Paul, who, as an Israelite with Roman citizenship and a Greek education, was uniquely well-suited to be the first missionary to the Gentiles.
As you and I go about our busy lives, let’s not forget that there are people around us that God has put in our lives so that we could reach out to them in various ways. Far too often we just coast through life, paying attention to our own matters, all the while missing out on opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ. O that we would not be so selfish and oblivious! Take time to pray this week that your eyes would be open for the Esther moments that God has ordained for you. And, like Esther, respond with courage to those moments instead of with passivity or fear. God is ready to use you as the answer to someone else’s prayer, if only we would be ready for “such a time as this”.