When Esther heard of the threat against her people, the Jews, she was driven by fear to keep silent. But through her uncle’s stirring call, she discovered a deeper drive, a stronger drive that would compel her to rise up as a leader, call people to pray and fast, and consider her own life forfeit if necessary. What drove Esther to set aside fear-motivated paralysis? A deeper passion to have her story intermingled with a larger story, a grander story, to have a purpose “For such a time as this.” What drives you?
Esther cared about her people, the Jews. Although she could have continued a life of safety, of luxury, she risked not only silk and satin, but her life for her people. Who are you drawn to? Who do you find yourself praying for? Thinking about? Reading about? Who is God nudging you to help?
Esther had focus. She couldn’t possibly meet all the needs of her people. She couldn’t even be concerned that her people could be sold as slaves. She had a single-minded concern for their lives. (Esther 7:3-4) What concerns you most in the lives of those you care about? Spiritual needs? Physical needs? Relational needs? Emotional needs? Educational needs? Vocational needs? What types of needs do you love meeting in the lives of the people you care about?
The words of Mordecai crystalized Esther’s cause. She was born “for such a time as this,” to pray, fast, speak, and act boldly risking her own life to bring relief and deliverance for the Jews. She had a cause. She had focus. What cause stirs your heart? Often God uses pain from our past to mobilize us for His purposes in the present. God deeply cares for the needy, the oppressed, the sick, the imprisoned, the widow, the orphan, the homeless …. and He desires for us to partner with Him in advancing His mercy and justice in the world. What cause will you help conquer?
Esther saw her enemy hanged and her uncle positioned in the king’s cabinet. She saw her people saved from calamity and empowered to rise up against the anti-Semitism that threatened. She saw their sorrow turn to gladness and their days of mourning turn to holiday (Esther 9:20-22). While her role in “such a time as this,” was limited to the reign of Ahaseurus, her dream was part of a bigger dream, God’s dream, to see His people return to the land He had established for them. Like Esther, we are limited. We’re limited by time, space, energy, resources. But with an eye toward a bigger vision, a bigger dream, we can do our part in “such a time as this.” What is the bigger vision, the ultimate dream in which you can participate?
This post is part of a Virtual Book Club in which we read and discuss the book S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose in Life, by Eric Rees. In addition to my own study and experience, much of the material and many of the insights originate in this book. I invite you to join me and my friends over the next few months as we work together to find and fulfill our unique purpose for life. It proves to be an exciting journey!