For Such a Time as This
She didn't understand why the weight of the situation was placed on her shoulders. Why was she being asked to risk her own life to save others? It all seemed so unfair. Yet, she initiated a plan and placed the needs of others above her own, ultimately saving a nation.
Queen Esther rose to the occasion when a cruel plot exposed a threat to her and the nation of Israel. There were many ways she could have responded from hiding and pretending it wouldn't affect her to risking her life to save others. Would I have chosen the same response? I think I would make that choice, but in the heat of situation, would I have looked for an excuse to protect myself instead?
When Esther became aware of the impending doom, she struggled to see her role. Her uncle, Mordecai, reminded her that God would deliver His people, but perhaps she had been selected queen for just this purpose. "Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 5:15)
Esther then requested prayer and fasting for three days as she pondered how to act. Mordecai called the Jews to fast and pray for Esther. During the fast God revealed the plan for her to accomplish. This provides a good reminder for us. During times of uncertainty and stress, do we wring our hands, talk to everyone but God, and try to figure things out in our own strength? Or do we humbly come before God and ask for His guidance and then wait on Him to answer? Esther provides a great model for us to emulate.
After the fasting, Esther approaches the king unannounced. Had the king not extended His scepter, the queen would have died. However, God worked in the king's heart, and he listened to Esther's request. Again, we are challenged by Esther's choice. She chose others ahead of herself, risking her own life to save others. It can be so easy to talk ourselves out of obeying God's plan when we don't see how it will work. However, like Esther, by following His plan instead of own, all things will work for His good. That doesn't mean the way will be easy, but it still is the best way.
Let Esther's example challenge us to choose God's way over our own. Her obedience to first seek God's plan and then execute it saved an entire nation of people. Although we may not be facing that magnitude of decision, by obeying God's direction for our lives, we can grow in our walk with Him, advance His kingdom, and help others along the way. We may never know this side of heaven how God uses us for His glory, but this may be our "such a time as this" moment to shine. I don't want to miss that opportunity!