There are some words from God that I cling tightly to and treasure, like when he calls me “chosen” or he reminds me that he has a plan for me. Those are amazing promises that I want to hold onto and never let go. But there are other times when I don’t want that word that I feel he’s speaking to me, though that doesn’t make what he’s saying any less true.
For the past few weeks, I feel like the Lord has been whispering “for such a time as this” over and over again.
I honestly don’t want to be born “for such a time as this.” That sounds exhausting and pressure-filled. The world is getting crazier and crazier and I just don’t know that I can handle much more right now. I want to push back and tell God to choose someone else, like so many of the prophets in the Old Testament did. But that still, small voice keeps whispering “for such a time as this.”
That phrase comes from the book of Esther, which recounts the story of a young woman who went from obscurity to the wife of the King. After earning that position, she is forced to decide if she wanted to use her influence to save her people or herself.
A truly evil man named Haman hatched a plot to kill all of the Jews and the King went along with it. He gave the approval and the order went out, far and wide, that the Jewish people were to be exterminated on a specific day. Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, learned the details of the heinous plot and mourned accordingly. He explained all the details to Esther and encourages her to go into the King’s presence to plead for her people.
Esther, understandably, wasn’t feeling it. Here’s her response to Mordecai:
““All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”” Esther 4:11-14 (NIV)
It’s no accident that we’re living through this particular time in history, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult. I fully believe that God is with us and for us and that we were born for such a time as this, as hard as that is to stomach. I’m also thankful that, like Esther, we’re not doing this alone. Nor is our calling dependent upon us.
After Mordecai says these challenging words to her, Esther responds by instructing him to gather all of the Jews to fast and pray for her, and states that she would do the same. Then, at the end of their time of fasting and prayer, she would risk her life and go speak with the King.
While Esther was born for that particular moment in time, positioned exactly where she needed to be for God to perform a miracle, it wasn’t all about her. She had a community of people behind her, praying with her and interceding for her. And she had God with her every step of the way. And the same is true for us.
I’m grateful that the things we are called to are not dependent upon us, but are an opportunity for us to rely on God even more. I’m not sure why we were born “for such a time as this,” but that doesn’t make it any less true. Instead, we get to continue to faithfully serve the Lord, trusting him every step of the way.
Have you ever wanted to reject or ignore a word from God before?
Do you feel you are where you are “for such a time as this”?