July 16, 2012

Esther 4:13, 14 NRSV
Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a times as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish, Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”

Esther is one of those girls who right now could be saying to herself, “If not for bad luck I would have no luck at all.” I mean this is a young girl who was orphaned and then raised by a cousin. She had to mourn the loss of her parents for a long time because that is not something a young child recovers from easily. Then when she is still young she is taken captive to live in the kings harem so he can try her out one night to see if she is worthy of marriage and if not she is never summoned to him again. However, that does not happen and Esther is chosen by the king and that is a blessing right? Now the Jews are looking to her to go to her husband and ask him to save her people. The king doesn’t even know she is a Jew. Esther is expected to use her position to persuade the king to rescind his death order. Esther knows that she cannot go to the king unless he summons her and he has not summon her for some time. She realizes that what Mordecai is asking her to do is risk her life for the others. If I were Esther I would be considering my current position more of a curse than a blessing.

All of you can relate in such various ways to today’s story. Some of you went to school and earned degrees and landed the job you worked hard to get, only to discover it is that job that makes you miserable. Some of you waited your entire life for Mr. or Mrs. Right to come your way and they do and then after they are done loving you they become Mr. Or Mrs. Right for the next person. Some of you exercise and eat right and take good care of your bodies, and find out you have cancer and could die young. Some of you wanted a child so badly you would have bought one, but God blessed you with one, the same one who is rebelling and walked away from you and God. An orphan was chosen by the king to be his wife and she wears a jeweled crown. This is the kind of stuff fairy tales are made up of; only this really did occur, Esther is now the queen. A queen with a very heavy burden in life and being a queen isn’t all it was cut out to be.

That child of God is called life. Life as we know it is lived in a fallen world with all its natural and hidden dangers. There is only one promise, one guarantee, one truth and that is Jesus is our Redeemer and God. Aside from that everything else is made from pie crust, easily made and easily broken. Some of us get by in life learning this lesson down easy road, others aren’t so fortunate, that is the group I belong to. In that group we walk up hill, rugged roads filled with all sorts of peril, desolate and dark; except for that teeny tiny light which appears to be very far away. That light is God and that is how small and far away He appears to us when we feel alone and abandoned on that road. It can be argued and I am sure many Christians read this far and want to write to me quickly and remind me that Christ is always with me and never leaves me. I know that truth. What I am saying is that when we get placed on a very difficult road, we don’t always feel like we are sitting the in palm of God’s hands. We feel like God just flicked us across the universe and we are the furthest person away from Him. That is a lie of course, but this is what trauma feels like!

Esther hears that her cousin actually expects her to go to the king uninvited and appeal to him for the Jewish people. Esther tries to reason out to her cousin why she can’t go to the king who then reminds her that she is a Jew herself and will have to die under the same order. Then he concludes with that one powerful verse that Christians have memorized: Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.

Have you taken my suggestion and written down what it is you are going through right now? If not then do that today. I want you to go back on that day God reveals to you what He was doing. I want you to see firsthand God’s plan and purpose. I know you know the verse from Jeremiah 29:11 “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” There is a plan and at this time Esther has no clue what it is. Her brain is scrambling and turning over all kinds of thoughts like: first my parents die, then I have to be raised by a cousin and if that was not bad enough I get taken from him to be tried out by the king. Than the king chooses me and for a short time I get to live like a princess but all of that is about to change. The minute I step before the king he will give the order for me to die than what good will that do anyone? Am I supposed to shout on my way to the gallows ‘save my people?’

What Esther doesn’t know, what I don’t know, what you don’t know, is the plans He has for us and perhaps He has brought us here today to this problem or tragedy for such as a time as this.

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