by Pastor Mark Shupe
2020 will likely go down as the year we would like to forget (although we never will). Launching into 2021 signals a new year with new opportunities. No one but God knows what lies ahead for each of us, however the chance to make a difference and make the most of our presenting circumstances is always an inviting opportunity.
A long time ago the King of Persia was looking for a new Queen. He gave orders for all the virgins of age (about 400 women) in the region to be brought into the palace where each of them went through a year-long beautification process. Then each of the women were presented to the King for his choosing (much like today’s “The Bachelor” tv show).
The King ends up choosing Esther, a young Jewish girl, living amongst predominantly Gentiles, who was described as “beautiful in form and face.” At the recommendation of her cousin Mordecai (who raised Esther after the death of her parents), Esther does not reveal her nationality to the King. All seems to be going well for Esther until she learns some very troubling news.
Mordecai relates to Esther that Haman, the second in charge in Persia who had a deep hatred for Jews, has persuaded the King to issue an edict for the destruction of every Jew in the region, which would include the Queen. Knowing that if she went to the King with this news uninvited it could result in her death, Esther receives these life-changing words from Mordecai (Esther 4:14): “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”
That question is penetrating and causes us to shift our viewpoint on our presenting circumstances. No matter what we are facing in our lives, is it just possible that God has divinely appointed us for such a time as this to make a lasting difference for His purposes?
Possibly to be more present with our family and friends. To be a Christ-like witness in a tough work situation. To implement that habit change God has been nudging you to make. To surrender your will and trust God with what might seem to be an overwhelming situation.
The possibilities are numerous for ways we can fully engage our present circumstances and be open to how God wants to use those for our development and the furthering of His purposes. Like Esther, it starts with an openness to consider how God has placed us in our current situation for His greater good. God used Esther to preserve His people. Who knows how God has appointed each of us for such a time as this?