Of all the women that are in the Bible , the story of Queen Esther is one of my favorites! During the time of King Xerxes, the Queen Varshti, is banished for refusing to follow the directive of her husband. The king is having a 7 day bender with all his bros, so the queen decides to have a week long girls’ night out. Xerxes decides he wants to show off his queen and she denies his request.
King Xerxes is known as being impulsive and unpredictable. He meets with the high court to decide what to do with the queen. They recommend she never set foot in the presence of the king again and he agrees. When he realizes what he’s done, he decides to have a new queen pageant.
Esther’s Uncle Mordecai adopted her after her parents’ passing and he had taken her as his own daughter. He arranged for her to be a part of the pageant and she followed his recommendation to not disclose her nationality (they were Jews) or her relationship to him. She found favor with the king and won the contest.
Mordecai finds out about an assassination attempt on the king’s life and he relays the information to Queen Esther. She warns the king giving Mordecai credit and that gives him some status with King Xerxes.
But then Haman, gets promoted by Xerxes and everyone is made to bow to him. Mordecai refuses to bow and this irritates Haman. Haman knows that Mordecai is a Jew, so he creates a plan to kill all the Jews in the kingdom.
Now, your thinking that Queen Esther is in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, was she? Mordecai tells her to go to the king and plea with him on behalf of her people. But if she goes into the inner court without an invitation, she could be put to death. The law provides for one exception, if the king holds out the golden scepter, the person may live. Queen Esther has not been summoned by the king for 30 days.
This is a tough situation that Esther is put in. Speak and possibly be put to death. If she chooses not to speak, the Jews would be saved, but her family would surely be put to death. But Mordecai’s words to her were, “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”
There will be a time in our lives when the tide will turn.
In the best and worst of times, you will be given opportunities by God. You may not feel prepared. But there will be God ordained opportunities to do only what you can do.
What if at the end of your time, you are shown all of the opportunities that God gave to you, but you didn’t take them?
Wherever you are right now, God has opportunities for you. God introduces us to the right people at the right time. God needs you right there. Will you step out of your comfort zone when God calls your name? Prayer certainly helps us grab the opportunities God has for us.
We can look at this pandemic we are in two ways. We can face it living in fear or we can embrace the opportunities that have come our way because of it. We can cherish the extra time with family, a chance to reconnect with God because of extra time on our hands that we use by reading the Bible and/or praying to God.
Esther knew that we are poised for God-ordained opportunities by prayer. She asked for the Jews in Susa to fast on her behalf. Then she would go to the king and if it was for her to perish, she would perish. Tremendous faith for a young lady in her position.
Prayer gives us a heightened awareness of who God is, where God is, and what He wants us to do to be in His will and blessing.
What if our prayers, instead of being a list of things we want, looked like asking God what He wants?
- What are you showing me, God?
- What do you want me to learn?
- What do you want me to let go of?
- What am I keeping from you?
- Where do you want me to go?
- What do you want me to do?
- What if you prayed seeking, waiting, listening, asking, and allowing God to move and move you?
It won’t always be easy when God puts a task in front of you that seems insurmountable. But, God wants you to succeed. He wants to use your story to bring others closer to him.
You are where you are, right now, for such a time as this…. Lean into God to fully discover why.
Go write your story!
This blog post is based on the sermon by Jon Porter. Jon’s daughter, Mary Kate, graduated from IU this spring and is headed to Odessa, TX to work for the NBC affiliate there. It’s your time, Kate! Excited to see the journey God has placed before you and know that Milan Christian Church will be praying for you.