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Is There Purpose in This?
This past week I went back to school. And by school, I mean teaching one-hundred, and five tenth graders the art of English Language Arts instruction. Everyone’s favorite, clearly.
To say I have been stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted would be an understatement. It always takes me a good few months to get back into the routine, used to losing my voice daily, and disciplining kids with a firm yet Godly love.
There are many days I question my purpose. I ask God why I can’t be a full-time author right here and right now. I struggle to see that maybe I was born for such a time as this. As these challenges and adversities.
But in the book of Esther, one woman who changed the world had a similar view and predicament. And while she wasn’t teaching the masses, she was influencing thousands who were impacted by her reign and lordship.
In the Face of Question
In Esther chapters 3 and 4, it is recorded that Haman created a plot against the entire population of Jews because of Mordecai’s refusal to bow down to him. Mordecai, was, as we learned in chapters 1 and 2, Esther’s cousin who became a father-like figure to her. And like any father, Mordecai pressed Esther to do what was right even in the face of questioning.
My favorite part about this chapter is not that Esther was willing to risk her life to save an entire group of people, though that was certainly heroic and worthy of praise. What impresses me most, is that Mordecai, a man of lowly stature and position, encouraged her to see light in a dark, dingy, and hopeless situation. It’s this compelling to me, that in the face of adversity, Mordecai’s response was, “perhaps you were born for such a time as time.”
Obviously, Esther was scared to take a stance for the Jews against King Xerxes. In fact, the last time a woman took a stand in defiance towards him, she was deposed from her position (see Queen Vashti in Esther chapter 1). This is why Esther notes in verses 10-12, of chapter 4, “Then Esther told Hathach to go back and relay this message to Mordecai: “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.” So Hathach gave Esther’s message to Mordecai” (Esther 4:10-12, New Living Translation).
Upfront, Esther acknowledge that taking a stand like Mordecai requested would take a lot of guts and a lot of game. It was a major risk, and she knew it was very possible she might indeed die. The king had not requested her presence for thirty days.
A New Perspective
Yet once Mordecai gave her a new perspective on the situation, everything changed.
“Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:13-14, New Living Translation)?
Mordecai knew what he asked of Esther because he knew what God asked of him. And by reminding Esther that not taking a stand for the Jews, her own people would result in death, I feel she was compelled to act.
Sometimes we, too, need to be reminded that things needing acting upon often require us acting upon them.
Sure, this was a huge rush on Esther’s part. Her life was literally at stake. But she was willing to take a stand for what mattered. She was willing to stand for her people. Are you?
Such a Time
Today, I wonder if there are people, jobs, and circumstances the Lord has placed us in, “for just such a time as this.”
As a teacher, feeling exhausted but pouring out our hearts to save our kids.
With that neighbor who won’t stop annoying you, but you feel something from within to help them anyways.
Within your toxic home life and upbringing because something within your pain and breaking heart encourages you to help heal others.
Sometimes God puts people, jobs, and circumstances in our midst for a reason. And sometimes He hasn’t placed us there, but He’s going to use us in those troubling events or with difficult people because that’s just who He is.
It’s my prayer that at the height and culmination of these mountains and valleys, we will remember, “who knows if perhaps we were made for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:14, New Living Translation).
We don’t have to be a Queen or Ling to take action, provide a solution, or make a bad situation good. Mordecai, after all, simply had a stance, motive, and voice. We merely have to temper what’s important to us, and to who and what we will take a stand.