Monday, April 28, 2014

Such a Time as This

(Written as a daily devotion for my college Christian fellowship's mailing list)

"For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
-- Esther 4:14, NKJV

Esther is one of the two books of the Bible that don't explicitly mention God, and yet God's work is apparent throughout the story of Esther. In this passage, Esther had told her cousin Mordecai that she risks dying if she approaches the king without being summoned, even though she's queen, and this is part of Mordecai's response. 

Mordecai doesn't doubt that God will come to the aid of the Jewish people. What he does question is Esther's belief that she is powerless. From Mordecai's view, Esther is in a perfect position for God to use her to help her people. "Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

With God, none of us is powerless, and God has a plan for each of us. We're all in a position where God can use us to do God's work on earth, and God is calling us to do that work. What position in life are you in where you can grow or make a needed change or help someone?

It can be hard to answer that question, and doing that to which we are called can take a lot of courage and strength. Esther's response to Mordecai is this:

“Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
-- Esther 4:16-17, NKJV

Esther prays and fasts, and she asks that the Jewish people in the city do likewise to support her.  Similarly, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked the disciples to watch and pray for him while He prayed alone. As a community, we can support each other through prayer and fellowship in discerning God's will, finding our 'such a time as this,' and doing the work to which we're called.

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