Saturday, October 3, 2009

Such A Time As This

Focus verses: Esther: 4:1-17

The story of Esther is the salvation of a nation mixed with political intrigue, personal fidelity, and the whims of a questionable king. Good grief! We could be talking about almost any country at almost any time in it's history.

But Esther (Hadassah) is a special person. She is obedient and faithful. She is a model for all Christians. We should all be so obedient to God as she was to Mordecai.

Did you ever notice that great opportunity generally comes wrapped in enormous risk? And some times we can't see the opportunity because the risk seems too great. But here it is. Esther is asked to go to the king to plead for her people. Now the king doesn't even know that she is a Jew. And going to the king without being summoned means death, unless he extends his scepter.

Esther does three wise things.

She first examines the cost. It could cost her life.

Second, she prepares herself. She asks Mordecai for three days and nights of fasting and prayer for her and the cause. She and her servants do the same.

Third, she commits to the project. Commitment is a rare thing. We tend to want to have escape hatches and return routes should our intentions not go as planned. But commitment is like jumping off a diving board. Only in the comics can you jump off the board and then scramble back.

No one is in his present position by accident.
God has placed you here for a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is clear. Other times, we just have to take it on faith and wait for directions. But you have been placed where you are "for such a time as this."

Your job may not include risking death to speak to the king. But it may be risking ridicule to speak to the public. Your job may not involve the fate of a nation. But it might be to encourage someone in despair. You may wear work boots and denims or a suit instead of a queen's crown. But your job is no less important than Esther's.

When I was a young mother (we'll not discuss how many years ago), I was sitting in church with wriggling children and a fussy baby. But I noticed an elderly lady in her regular pew that morning. And God nudged me to tell her that He had seen her faithfulness and would reward it. For most of the service I argued with myself about going up to this lady, whom I knew only peripherally, and speaking to her about such an intimate thing. How presumptuous she would think me. But in the end I did it.

She turned to me with tears in her eyes. "You are the only person who has spoken to me this day. And it's my eighty-fifth birthday." Her gratitude was tangible. God knew her birthday. There were other people in church that morning He could have nudged. But he gave me the privilege.

We are all here for such a time as this.

Father, God,

Open our ears to hear Your whispers and our hearts to obey Your nudges. Make us quick to respond to You and sensitive to the needs of Your people.
In Jesus' most precious name.
Amen.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

I want so badly to be that person that God can use to bless others. Thanks for reminding me there is an element of risk in being obedient, otherwise faith would have no purpose.

sjlewis39 said...

Thanks for sharing this thought provoking memory with us.

Shadia said...

This was so beautiful! Oh what a joy to be used by God...I pray I never miss an opportunity!