Happenstance or More than Chance?

Have you ever wondered why you find yourself in unusual circumstances? Or wondered why you are living in a certain time and place instead of some other? Many people feel that way at times, except for maybe Alexander the Great, but his self-image was scary, delusional. He was definitely not a role model. Let’s look at the life of Esther, who came from the insignificant background of an orphan living in exile to a place of royalty and influence. She was reminded that she may have attained her position “for such a time as this”, to speak out and make a difference. And she did.

A beautiful, orphaned Jewess was thrust into the king’s harem and chosen to become his next queen. I don’t think it was a romantic, glamorous dream come true. He was probably much older and he was a man who was feared by many, including Esther. If she dreamed of being in love, her hopes were most likely shattered. Except for the fatherly love of Mordecai, her uncle, who raised her as his own daughter. Besides her beauty, Esther possessed a strength and wisdom that probably were, in part, attributed to the attentive care, godly upbringing and advice of Mordecai. I can imagine the contrast between her former way of life and her life as queen. It must have been extreme in every conceivable way.

Were the events of her life merely determined by the whims of a king sitting in his opulent palace or was there a higher plan at work? By virtue of her position, she had the favor of the king at a time when she could intervene to prevent the annihilation of the Jews. And she did so, even at the risk of her own life.

“Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Mordecai to Esther (Esther 4:13-14)

Anyone who entered the inner court of the king without being summoned would be put to death unless the king extended his gold scepter. Esther took the risk, and was received. Esther did not arrogantly and defiantly come before the king with her request. After a period of prayer and fasting, she went before the king to invite him along with his highest official, who was the enemy of the Jews, to a banquet for two days before she made her request known. She realized the importance of timing. The outcome was great, but she was willing to take the risk even if it cost her.

There are no insignificant places or people, but there are endless opportunities to make a difference on a small or large scale if we will open our hearts and see needs around us.

There is a need for modern-day Esthers.
And there is also a need for modern-day Mordecais.

Will you be an Esther?
Speak out in the face of injustice, even if it may cost you.
Take the lead when something needs to be done, but with wisdom.
See the significance of the time and circumstances in which you live.
Don’t allow a difficult or seemingly insignificant background to hold you back in life.

Will you be a Mordecai?
Be a man or woman who cares for the next generation.
Give love, wisdom and encouragement to a young person when it is needed.

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