I will trust You with my life, Lord, and I will humbly obey Your Word.
Focus of the Month: Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Hope
Presented with detrimental news of a posing destructive future, my heart raced with panic; my mind frantically reached for answers. None could be found in my own reasoning. There was no easy way out; no plausible solution; no answer that made sense; no action I could take that would make it all better.
What’s a girl to do when faced with such daunting circumstances? This situation could destroy not just me, but my heritage, my legacy – my family, my loved ones, my people. The forecast for our future was not good, and I had no power and no way to fix it.
But there is One who IS able – the One who makes a way when there seems to be no way.
Do you know the story of Esther? Esther is a woman of Jewish descent whose family had been captured and displaced during the Babylonian victory. Her father and mother had passed, and so she was raised by her uncle, Mordecai.
Esther was one of many women who endured beautifying and training before being presented to King Ahasuerus. She found favor with the king, and was made Queen. We see a humble surrender of Queen Esther, recognizing, honoring, and understanding the authority and power of the king.
When faced with news of the decree the king had made – at the coercing of Haman – that all Jews be destroyed, Queen Esther did not run to the king, dismissing all rules and honor, collapsing at his feet to beg for deliverance of her and her people. She didn’t throw a tantrum of it not being fair. Nor did she whine, murmur, and complain.
No. This great woman of discipline, hope, trust, and faith fasted for three days – her and her household ; and she urged her uncle and all the Jews he knew to gather and fast for three days, as well. Then, this happened:
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” (Esther 5:1-3).
Esther presented herself to the king, standing in confidence and trust. She then invited the king and Haman to a banquet. At that gathering, the king asked what Esther desired. She responded by asking his and Haman’s presence at a second banquet, at which she sought the deliverance of her people. The king granted this request, and more. Not only was deliverance provided to her people, but Esther’s uncle was given the house of Haman and a position of authority and honor in the kingdom.
I am so thankful for Queen Esther’s example. Here are some lessons I have learned from her:
- There are days of preparation – of my heart, my mind, my body – to be presentable to the Lord – my King. Not that I am achieving acceptance based on my works, but that I am to invest myself in His Word and in the health of my own physical body. My body IS the temple of the Lord. I am to present myself to Him a beautiful, prepared sacrifice.
- During tests and trials, I need not lose hope, but trust the One who holds the kingdom of heaven and earth in His hands. Instead of panicking, I will fast and pray, trusting He has the answer I need.
- Even when all seems lost, I will put on Christ – just as Esther put on the royal garments. I will clothe myself in His holiness, His authority, His goodness.
- Instead of mourning and weeping – I will rejoice in His faithfulness, goodness, authority, power. For He is good, and He works all things together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. I am called according to His purpose. I will worship Him and feast in His presence.
That detrimental situation I spoke of earlier… God made the way to victory for me and my family. He provided a way out – greater than I could have ever asked or thought or dreamed. He is the Way-Maker! Be inspired by Esther – to be quiet in the face of conflict, resolute in your worship to Him, and confident in your position with Him. He loves you with the greatest love ever, and He has made the way for you.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Esther 1-10; Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 3:27; Proverbs 3:5; Romans 8:28; Psalm 37:3