Most of you are probably familiar with the story of Esther in the Bible and for those who are not, here is a recap… Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Hadassah who lost her mother and father (we know not how) and was taken under the wing of her uncle, Mordecai. Hadassah grew up into a beautiful young woman and her name (we know not why) became Esther.
Once upon a time there was a king. King Xerxes was his name. He was having a party of sorts and summoned his wife, Queen Vashti, to come in and show off how beautiful she was to his guests. Did I mention he had had a bit too much to drink? She refused. It doesn’t really tell us why she refused. One can speculate that it may have been his current condition from the effects of his preferred choice of drink. However, when the queen refused, it didn’t go over too well and the king kicked her out of his house (aka — his palace). Hence, another queen was needed. Someone suitable. Someone beautiful.
For twelve months, the most beautiful virgins found amongst every province of Xerses kingdom underwent an extreme makeover, after which the woman would go meet the king. After she left his presence, she would not see him again unless he called for her specifically. Esther found favor in his sight and was called again and chosen as his wife, the new queen.
Meanwhile, Mordecai was sauntering outside the palace one fine day and overheard two of Xerses’ officers planning an assassination of the king. Mordecai told Esther, Esther told the king who then had the two men hanged.
Xerses was pleased with Uncle Mordecai and gave him a job. Xerses’ right hand man, Haman, didn’t like what was going on (mainly that Mordecai refused to bow to him when Haman would ride by) and plotted to kill the Jews, of which Mordecai and Esther were two. To shorten the story, Mordecai is distressed, to put it lightly. He advises Esther to use her position and do what she can to stop this mass genocide. He advises her to talk to Xerses, for which they both know could cost her her life if he didn’t call for her himself. To shorten the story further, she finds favor once again, she ends up informing the king of Haman’s plan, Haman is destroyed, the Jews are saved from death and Mordecai is made prime minister of Xerses kingdom. The popular verse that comes from this story is that Esther was placed on this earth for ‘such a time as this’.
For such a time as this…
A friend said to me the other day, “I just want to matter.” I’ve felt that way and I’ll bet that you have also. We want to know that we’ve made a difference, served a purpose, had a ‘such a time as this’ experience. But – what if we never do? What if we had and we missed it because we expected it to look different. Bigger. More impressive. What if we were placed in a position of befriending a drug addict at work and they turn their life around because you were Jesus to them? What if that were the only ‘such a time as this’ moment in your life? Would that be enough?
Esther is a short book in the Old Testament. She wasn’t given a great amount of space for her story to be told. That’s because she only had a one-time such a time and even though she only had a one-time such a time, she made that time count and gave it everything she had and put her life on the line. And then she is never mentioned again. Does that make the rest of her life one that no longer mattered? Of course not. She became honored because of that one event of obedience. Her story has been told for thousands of years. Billions of people have been encouraged by her willingness to sacrifice whatever it took to do the right thing.
I worked at a church for five years and was involved in many areas. I led the women’s ministries for 3 years and led the children’s choir for 2 years amongst other things. I felt like I was having a ‘such a time as this’ season. When it ended, I felt lost. I felt I no longer had purpose. I didn’t matter anymore.
While what I did will most likely not be talked about for thousands of years, to feel you don’t matter – that you have no purpose – is a tool of the devil to get us to not do anything but to sit still. We may not be called to save thousands or hundreds, as Esther was called to be a part of. What if our purpose for this day is only to give God glory in whatever we do? Would that be enough? Or, will our life only matter if we can experience a qualifying moment of meaning by our definition?
Your ‘such a time’ may not have come around yet. It may have come and gone. You may have recognized it or you may have been oblivious to it. It may not have been a big thing. It may have been earth shattering. However it was, is, or will be, you matter. You have been created for something wonderful. Will you miss your ‘such a time’ moment or embrace it, even if it lasts no more than a day? If we keep our eyes on Him, each moment will become a ‘such a time’ moment because each moment will be spent worshipping Him. What greater purpose in life is there besides that?