Friday, March 23, 2018

You Have Been Called for Just Such a Time as This.

The book of Esther has only ten chapters and is one of only two books in the Bible in which the name of God isn’t mentioned, yet He is on each page and His influence in the lives of the principal characters is evident...whether they acknowledged Him or not. But for today’s devotion, I want us to look particularly at one verse:

 Esther 4:14 Who knows but what you have come to royal position for such a time as this?  (NIV)

Let me just briefly fill you in on...
what came before this question. An edict had gone forth from the Persian king at the time that all of the Jews in his kingdom were to be killed. Esther was the queen at this time but her husband, the king, didn’t know that she was Jewish so he didn’t think twice about signing the edict. However, Esther’s older cousin, Mordecai who had raised her since early childhood knew that they were in a desperate situation. His only hope was getting Esther to go before the king and plead for her people. This would mean that she would have to declare her true nationality and that alone might jeopardize her relationship with the king. Then she reminded Mordecai that she hadn’t been called before the king for 30 days and if she entered his presence and he didn’t raise his scepter, then she was “dead meat.” That’s a major problem for anyone, queen or not. Mordecai looks at her and says, in essence, “Well, you’re dead meat anyway as you’re Jewish. But, who knows, perhaps this is the very reason that you were made a queen in the first place.” As we know, after a time of fasting, she did go into the presence of the king, he was happy to see her, and her request was granted thus averting a holocaust. 

You have experienced moments in your life, whether as a result of your own choices or of happenstance, that have left you feeling much like Esther did upon receiving this news. She certainly wasn’t eager to go to the king, yet she was heartsick at the news she had just received and recognized that it was not information she could just tuck away in her memory bank and hope for the best. The death of your spouse was such a moment. Your life has been forever changed. We call these moments “defining moments” in our lives where we are irrevocably changed. 

Did you know that God’s plan for your life didn’t change when your husband died and you were forced to accept “widow” as a title? Your whole life had been a preparation for that moment, just as Esther’s life as an orphan living as a minority in a foreign country had prepared her for the difficult times she would face as a queen. History tells us that her husband was a man with an uncontrolled temper, quick to get fiercely angry. And even though she was queen, she could only approach him when he asked for her. She was a powerless pawn in his hands, wearing beautiful clothes, eating the best of foods and living in a castle, but not much better off than a slave. And her cousin is asking her to plead for her people to this man. She wasn’t just making up an excuse when she expressed her concern about approaching the king to Mordecai.

You, too, might feel inadequate, unworthy, or even incapable of making a difference, thinking of yourself as “just a widow.” But let me remind you that you and your life are important to God. He has uniquely prepared you to do what only you can do to bring honor to His name. The places that we find ourselves in this life are not about us, but rather about Him and the bigger plans He has for our lives. Not bigger in the sense of importance as the world sees things, but important to God.
Did you notice the first thing that Esther did after making her decision to go to the king? She asked others to fast and pray for her and she did the same. Seeking God and his guidance and protection in our lives is valuable whether we’re facing a life or death situation or not. Keep your eyes fixed on the Lord and He will not fail you nor leave you to struggle on your own.

Now that you are walking life solo rather than as half of a duo, you have the ability to do things you might not have been able to before. Think of the talents and abilities you have, perhaps the extra time you have, the neighborhood in which you live, your family members, especially those precious grandchildren, and ask God to direct your life as to how you can best impact those in your sphere for His kingdom. That’s what God is so good at: turning those painful times and situations in our lives around for a greater purpose than we ever thought possible.

Karen McGuire in one of her devotionals posed the question: “How would you tell your story if you knew this verse were about you?” Who knows but that you have come to this place for such a time as this.  If you were to look at your current life situation and apply that thinking to it, how would it change your thinking? What would you do differently? How would you treat your children, your in-laws, your grandchildren, your pastor, your neighbors, etc.? You have come to this place in your life, this moment in time, this season of life for such a time as this. 

Put your trust totally in God and His call on your life. Be intentional in living with eternity’s values in view and He will turn your pain into a greater purpose, not just in your life, but also in the lives of those around you.
Message by Shari Hervold
Friends Needing Friends from Boynton Beach, Fl celebrated Purim. Lots of fun and laughter made it a special time for everyone. 

By Wayne Watson - "For Such A Time As This"