Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Afternoon Tea - For Such a Time

But who knows but that you have come into the Kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther: 4:14)

When I was in my 30s, I was passionate about working where I could be a positive influence to the anti-Christian aspects of the culture.  I became involved in a political party and in organizations such as Concerned Women For America.

During that time, I wrote and taught a Bible Study about the book of Esther.  It has always been a favorite book of the Bible but in that season of life, it was as if I could see Esther (Hadassah) through new eyes, both spiritually and as it related to where I was at the time.

What had somehow escaped me before was this... Esther had been through a lot of hardship before getting to the palace.  She grew up in captivity in Babylon, even though she had to be quite young both of her parents had died already so she was brought up by an older cousin named Mordecai, and then to make matters worse... she was forced into the palace harem to take part in a contest to choose the next queen.

We look back at the story from more than a couple millennia and we know the outcome... Esther did not know what was going to happen.  If not chosen to be the queen, her future would have been simply as part of his harem.  Gone was the chance of having a husband of her own choosing.

However, we know that God was preparing Esther all along for her place in His-story.  For one thing, we can assume Esther was absolutely gorgeous.  We also can take from the account that she must have had a pleasant personality because she had great favor with those around her.

Her disappointments and trials in life had not brought on a bitter spirit within.  People were drawn to Esther.  There was something special about her.  She was not only chosen to be Queen, Esther was born to be Queen.

The story reads like a work of fiction but we know from Hebrew writings that it was true, which was why the Book of Esther was included in the Bible, and Jews today continue to celebrate the story with the Feast of Purim.   

It is the true story of God placing the right person at the right time in the absolute right place to save the lineage of the Messiah.

The story of Esther teaches us that... should we be willing to act in obedience... God will use us when He needs us to be His hands, and His eyes, and His spokesperson.  We will become His person of the hour, in the place (or places) where he has positioned us throughout the years.

Most of the research I read about Esther counted her as a hero of the Faith, one who overcame great reluctance to bravely save her people.  However, there was one article that wanted to discourage our admiration for Esther, saying she was not heroic because she at first said no to her uncle's request and pointing out that because there had been no mention of God in the early texts of the Book, neither Esther nor Mordecai were God fearing people.

I read through that man's lengthy article and thought he very much missed the point about the story of Esther.  We cannot assume Esther and Mordecai were (or were not) people of Faith just because the text does not mention God. For the story is not about Esther's walk with God but rather God's plan for His people.

The Book of Esther should remind all of us that God does indeed work in mysterious ways and that they are so often far beyond what our mortal minds can understand.  Why would He not just get rid of those who hated the Jews instead of positioning a beautiful young woman into power to be able to save her people when needed?

I think it is because Esther is not only a story for that time but He intended it to be a story for all Time.  For as troubled as our world seems now, every generation has had its' own share of instability and grief.

If anything, it reminds us... you and me... that God will use us whenever and wherever He has positioned and prepared us.  It is to be a reminder that where we live on this planet... and our purpose while walking on it... may have been designed by God (and I believe they are) but what we do with our lives is completely up to us.

If you still have breath, then you still have a purpose.  

While you may not be saving the Kingdom, you are definitely affecting the Kingdom... one way or another. You may not stand before Kings with your words but it could be your words that save one who is hopeless from leaving this world before their time.

You may not feed all the hungry but you can make a meal for the young mom who is sick.  Your visits to a lonely elderly friend with a pretty flower and something good to eat just may be an answer to their prayer.

Your offer to babysit a young couple with preschoolers so they can get away alone for a few hours may be just what is needed to prevent the seeds of divorce someday.  You have within you the answer to a prayer, perhaps unspoken but essential to the life of another.

We live in a society where the big stuff makes the news but all the little acts of Kindness in God's name goes unnoticed.  Your calling from God at this time of life may very well be one of little acts of kindness.

I have a few people in my life that without them, I would be a different person.  I would go as far as to say that my faith would have long ago been shaken.  However, each of these people have been just what I have needed through the years and I am certain no one around them knows of their kindness, their generosity, and their giving of a cold cup of water in His name.

In a way, we are all like Esther for if God has truly allowed what we have gone through in our lives, and where He has positioned us to live, then He has also given us a purpose.  Not only then but now.

Forget the "doing of great things for God", those that would make headlines.  Waiting to do the big stuff prevents us from doing what is right in front of us to be Christ to another.  You may indeed be called upon someday to do something for God that will make headlines.  Most of what we do will only be known to the One who asked us to do it.

I have a feeling that when we stand before God and He has that chat with us about our works (or lack of them), we will be surprised at how important the little stuff was.

My friends, we truly were brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this.  Our being here at the beginning of the 21st Century is not an accident.  That is pretty amazing stuff to ponder.


Sallie Borrink said...

I love this so much. Thank you for writing it.

Terra said...

This is a beautiful post, both about Esther and about how each of us can accomplish much by doing the small things with great love.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking you were late with today's post but it was well worth the worth. Such a beautiful, thought provoking post. Thank you and thank the Lord for what He has worked in your life to be a blessing to others. Blessings, Sharon D.

Sandy said...

Wonderful post!!!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

There is so much rich truth here, Brenda. I believe we can walk forward in truth because of who He is and how He walks alongside of us. He uses us to be his hands and feet in the world.

Love you and your heart for Jesus, friend!

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for such timely words! They spoke to my heart, for where I am at this time in my life. I like the story of Ester, too. “ But who know but that you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this” ~ Ester 4:14. We are here, now, in time and this place, for such a time as this!
Blessings to you,
Laura C. (WA)

Vee said...

You make me think and often close with a zinger as you did in this time is pretty incredible. I’m glad that the small things are important, too. Seens my offerings are a string of small things. Thank you also for “fleshing” Queen Esther out more. I knew that she was beautiful and wise, but had not considered how likeable and pleasing her personality was.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Loved this post, resonates with what I believe so very much, that If you still have breath, then you still have a purpose.
As long as we are here God is using us to fulfill His plan, and if our heart is willing to follow that plan, be it a challenge or a grace, we need not fear. I was listening to one of Sally Clarkson's old conference tapes (she taught me the essence of mothering as a homeschooler many. many years ago) the other day and she spoke about God seeing the sparrow that falls from the sky and how much more HE SEES ME. Never alone, He sees us in every circumstance, and through valley and across mountains He is a good Father who has a good plan for our lives - all to His everlasting glory.
Bless you dear girl for sharing JESUS with such obvious love and devotion. xxx

Maureen said...

Thank you for this encouraging post. Wednesday is an “Esther” moment for me. I will be talking to adult protective services about my concerns for a friend with dementia whose son lives with her and is verbally and emotionally abusive to her. This is scary to me, but I know God is calling me to this and will guide my words. said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I like your statement "that if you still have breath, then you still have a purpose". If it's alright with you, I'll make some sort of art work out of it?

Keri Brown said...

This was so encouraging to me today! Thank you for such a thoughtful post.