For Such a Time as This

➤ by Isabel Jennings

We have all had moments in our lives where we’ve thought, “why is this happening?”. It may be a job loss, an unexpected pregnancy, a move, or a relationship that ended unexpectedly that blindsided us. Presently, we do not see the big picture, yet when we look back, we can see that God’s comforting hand was gently guiding us through each event.

In the book of Esther, we see a story of a young girl whose life took so many twists and turns, that she might have felt like she was riding a real-life rollercoaster. First, Israel had been conquered and most of the nation was exiled to Babylon.

Both of Esther’s parents died. She became an orphan, who now did not have the protection of her father. Her cousin Mordecai adopted her, and she likely had to move out of the home she grew up in and into Mordecai’s home.

Queen Esther's life was fraught with twists and turns

Then a sudden turn of events happened in the palace that would soon affect Esther personally. Queen Vashti refused to appear at the banquet the King was holding for the entire male population of the city of Susa. This was a major affront to the King.

To make an example of her to all the wives in Susa, the King was advised to oust her immediately, which he did. The King’s advisors then suggested that a search be made for the most beautiful virgins in the land so that the King could choose a new queen from them.

Marrying the King was not something that Esther would have likely ever imagined nor picked for herself. It sounds like a rags-to-riches fairy tale: a regular Jewish girl is selected for a beauty contest to be queen and wins! But she would be marrying a non-Jewish pagan, which was frowned upon by Jewish Law. It was likely that he did not hold to her values nor to her belief in Jehovah. This was a King who currently held her nation captive.

The Bible does not say that Esther volunteered for this, and there is a possibility that she was taken against her will. She was to be married to a man who could relegate her to his harem if he was displeased with her.

Was she afraid? Was she devastated? Did she feel guilty to be marrying a pagan? Did she think her life and purpose was going to be wasted? Did she cry out her why’s to the heavens?

Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Psalm 5:12

The Bible says that Esther was brought into the harem, which was under the care of Hegai. There was something that caught Hegai’s attention about Esther. He was very impressed with her. It may have been because of some selfless act she performed or her character, the Bible doesn’t say. The Bible just says that she found favor and kindness in the king’s harem.

Hegai was the one who knew who the king spent time with. He likely knew what pleased the king. This was not an accident. She didn’t just happen into this man’s favored position. She was handpicked for a crucial role in God's script. The writer of Proverbs understood this and wrote in chapter 16 verse 9: “Humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Esther's journey to this point was preset by the Almighty.

So, Esther was made the Queen of Persia. We don’t know how long she was in this position before her cousin Mordecai comes to tell her about a sinister plot. A plot so diabolical that every one of her people would be exterminated because of the hatred of the king’s right-hand man, Haman. The way Haman had the law written, there was no hope to escape.

For this time, and for this place

The people were in deep mourning and Mordecai had been desperately praying. He recognized that Esther was the only one in a position of great enough importance to possibly intervene. He tells her, “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). Mordecai was saying, “we have no hope, and no way to escape. But God might already have a plan in motion.”

This was a serious plot twist for Esther. She went from being the fairest maiden in the land to being stuck in the middle of a plan to execute an entire nation. She knew that her husband was the only hope her nation had, but he hadn’t called for her to come to him in at least 30 days.

To go, uncalled, could have meant immediate execution.

She may have been terrified at the idea, but instead of freezing in fear, Esther gathered those around her for a three-day fast. She resigned herself to the possibility that she might die trying to save her nation, but at least she would’ve died trying.

A person can make plans, but is it the Lord who decides what will happen.

Trusting in God isn't about always knowing with certainty what to do. It’s knowing that things will often not turn out as you had hoped. It's about knowing who God is and what His word says, and knowing that you can trust Him with your very life (and death).

Not only that, but it’s about knowing that God is walking with you every step of the way, regardless of the outcome. There will be unexpected drops, twists, and turns that are all part of a bigger master plan.

Proverbs 3:5-6 sums it up best: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don't rely on your own understanding. Submit to Him, and He'll sort out your path.” God is not leaving you alone for any part of the journey, even if you took the wrong path.

You might not see or feel God right now. Rest in the fact that He promised that He's not leaving you. Not ever.

You can feel God's presence in every chapter of the book of Esther. Esther's story is not just a dusty old tale; it's a reminder that trusting in God isn't just for preachers or religious scholars. He is the director behind the scenes, orchestrating things without being seen.

It's a reminder that even when you can't see God's hand, you can trust that He is there. Esther is a reminder for those of us trying to make sense of this wild journey called life. The next time you feel like you're stumbling about with no hope in a part of your story that isn’t going according to your plans, think of Esther.

Embrace the unknown. Trust the process.

Remember that each one of your steps is ordered by an Almighty, All-knowing, and All-powerful God, Who has your back. Life may not always make sense, and you might be on the wildest rollercoaster of your life, but you can ride the rollercoaster with confidence—God's created the blueprints, He’s laid the tracks, and He knows what is coming next on the track.

He has all the safety gear you will need to ride, and He’s not letting the car go off the tracks. He is going with you.

Hold His Hand and trust Him.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

Unless stated otherwise, all Bible passages quoted in orange are from the KJV translation.

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