By Sandy Mittelsteadt
Faith Contributor, Valley Ag Voice
You have probably heard this phase before, but do you know the context and what it really means? This phase comes from the Book of Esther. In Esther 4:13 & 14, Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, is scolding her for her self-preserving and pleasure-seeking mindset. Mordecai is reminding Esther that she must face an enemy head-on and risk her life. Mordecai is telling Esther that here and right now is where you can make a difference. To retell the story in a few words, Esther and Mordecai were Jews from the tribe of Benjamin living in exile in the city of Babylon under King Xerxes. The king’s wife was being removed from the throne for her disobedience and the king was looking for a new wife. By God’s design, Esther ended up in the palace as a new member of the king’s harem and there, the King fell in love with Esther and married her. In case you think she is living a grand lifestyle, you need to know that Esther was living away from everything she knew and Persian laws forbid members of the king’s harem to speak to just anyone and the women, including the king’s wife, could only visit and speak to the king by invitation. By “coincidence,” one of the king’s trusted advisors, named Haman, came up with a plot to kill all the Jews in the land. Mordecai realized that only Esther could get close enough to the king to plead for the lives of the Jewish people, but first Esther had to overcome her fear of approaching the king without being asked and being killed if the king did not lift up his golden scepter to her. After fasting for three days and three nights, Esther believed that God would go before her, and she approached the king on the throne, and he lifted up his golden scepter to her. Her life had been spared and eventually, the king would allow the Jews to fight for their lives and he even had Haman hanged on the gallows that Haman had prepared originally to hang Mordecai.
We now know why Mordecai said those words to his niece, Esther, but what does this mean in your life? To us, it means that God has placed you and me on this earth at this time and this place and with people you know for a reason. Who are you supposed to influence? What door is God opening in your life? These six words tell us we can make a difference, but it also means that we must trust God right where we are. Even when the odds are against us, God’s plan will always triumph.
God has given each person a job, position, resources, education, and opportunities for the purposes of His kingdom. God has a purpose for your life and although your life may appear to be a series of coincidences brought together, your life is a pathway with purpose We all face times of trepidation or doubt and times when we ask God, “Why me, Lord?” Yet, God has been with us all along the way and will continue to guide and guard us. The Bible tells us that God works all things together to fulfill His purpose.
You may be aghast that you are living during a pandemic and with violence in the streets of our cities. You may be quarantined in your home or farm and think that there is nothing you can do or say to help people or make the times better, but remember that God made you for “such a time as this.” God will bring opportunities to you where you can make a difference. Think how Esther was just living her life and a door opened up right before her. This was not a door which she planned, nor even a door that she anticipated, but it was a door that she walked through, and she saved her people.
I am reminded of the story of the Wurmbrands, a Jewish Christian couple, who lived in Romania before and after the Second World War. One day, they were invited to attend a “government meeting” because Richard Wurmbrand was a Lutheran minister. One by one, the ministers swore loyalty to the Communist government which was actively suppressing the Romanian churches. This disgusted the Wurmbrands and Sabrina turned to her husband and said, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ.” Richard replied, “If I do, you’ll lose your husband, but Sabina said, “I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband.” So, Richard stood up and bravely declared that the church’s duty was to glorify God and Christ alone. Later, Richard, and then Sabina, were arrested by the secret police and locked away for many years. This, too, was a door that the Wurmbrands did not plan on. They did not plan on being martyrs or being brave and setting an example, but this was the door which opened before them.
May we make a difference in such a time as this by walking through the opportunities that God places before us. May we represent Christ and tell his message to America and hear God say to us at the judgment, “Well done, faithful servant.”