I had always wondered what it felt like for Esther to be in the presence of the King. She bravely walked into his presence, risking her own life, to save the lives of her people, the Jews. In a single grand gesture, she saved an entire race from genocide, and forever sealed her place on the list of most well known women of the Bible.
I don’t know about you, but I long for the opportunity to fulfill a grand role. I often look at people I respect and the position they hold, and I am sometimes jealous. I want their clear calling, their giftings, their opportunities, their confidence, their life. I want to skip over all of the work and experiences they’ve been through, and go straight to the victory.
We want the victory without the battle.
The celebration without the effort.
The reward without the sacrifice.
Esther, a woman born with the Hebrew name Hadassah.
This book doesn't give many details about Esther's family, but what we do know is that they had been forcibly removed from their home and moved to Babylon under the rule of wicked King Nebuchadnezzar. Captives. Not only were they removed from everything familiar, but eventually we read that Esther was orphaned and was taken in under the care of her cousin Mordecai. He called her by her Persian name...the one we all recognize instantly...Esther.
When she was older, the Persian King Ahaseurus had banished his queen and was searching for a beautiful virgin to take her place. Once again, Esther was removed from her home, her familiar, her only remaining family, and was brought to the palace along with every other young virgin. She spent a year there getting prepared for a single night with the king... a night that would determine her whole future: Concubine or queen.
Not exactly a picnic for this young woman.
Life was not simple.
Life did not feel fair by any means. And yet we see in the Scriptures, that she was respected by those around her because of her attitude.
“...Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him… and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.” -Es 2:8-9
“And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her.” -Es 2:15
“And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.” -Es 2:15
She could've been bitter. She could've shut down and wept for the loss of her every happiness. She could've thrown in the towel. But she didn't, and because she didn't let her circumstances control her reactions, God used her. And He used her miraculously.
Esther. Captive, orphan, queen.
I cannot compare the grandeur of her peak moment to the situations in which I find myself. What I can do is learn from today and know that it is preparation for tomorrow. I cannot celebrate her victory alone without recognizing the past that equipped her for her future. Esther labored in the trenches before her mountain top victory. She was faithful in the hard things, and God used her for His glory and the preservation of His beloved people.
Take a minute and think of that person in your life that you look up to the most.
They were not born that person. They became that person. They too have experienced trials and hardships that taught them life lessons. Each experience preparing them for the next. Equipping them. We cannot get to the goal without the work.
Don’t waste your sorrows or the hard things that life throws at you. Let your tears be your teachers. Believe that those who God calls to action, He equips for victory. You were created for “such a time as this”.
“Faithful is He that calleth you, Who will also DO IT.” -1 Thess. 5:24
You called me out upon the waters,