There is a compelling scene in the book of Esther. Esther who is Jewish has become the queen of Persia. The king doesn’t know she is Jewish and he is bribed into issuing a decree to have all Jewish people in the kingdom destroyed. Esther’s cousin Mordacai tries to get Esther to plead with the king for their lives. Esther is scared to plead with him and she begins to make excuses. But Mordacai tells Esther:
“Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”
Up to this point, Esther’s life seems to be storybook. Everything is falling into place for her. But then all of a sudden, her cousin tells her… if you keep silent… if you choose not to act – don’t think you are off the hook. Yes, God’s going to act – one way of another – but here you are, Esther – the need is right in front of you. Maybe God has put you here for a reason.
I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at your own life and thought, “Maybe God has put me here for a reason. Maybe I have this education, maybe I have these gifts, maybe I had that moment of failure, that hardship, that luck, that blessing for a reason.”
For Esther the need to act was clear. If we look at the world around us – we see hungry children in our schools, people who are lonely, others who are desperately looking for something deeper in life. We see drugs and violence.
I can’t imagine a time in history, when the world has needed people of faith more – people who have the courage to act, to give, to love, to serve.
Esther risked her life. She used her place in the world and God used and blessed her efforts. Today, may you ponder the statement, “Perhaps God has put me here for such a time as this.”
Let us pray: We remember today, O God, that you have blessed us to be a blessing. We ask you today to meet us right where we are. Heal us, redeem us, make us whole and set us free once again – that we might be instruments of your love and grace. Amen.
Photo credit: Defence Images on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC