And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14b)
Esther was just a Jewish girl in exile who had been selected by King Xerxes as a favored member of his harem. She fit in with the others and kept her religion to herself. It was not in her nature to cause dissension or to bring unwanted attention to herself. Maybe life in a harem was not what she would have chosen, but she fulfilled her duty there and eventually became queen. She probably would have been comfortable playing the role of queen for the rest of her life. It was definitely better than living in the pain of exile and on the margins of society.
However, it wasn’t long before she realized that she could not forsake her past. A new edict stated that all Jews in Xerxes’ territory were to be killed. She was safe for the moment because no one knew her ancestry. But how long would that last? Her Uncle Mordecai didn’t think it would be long. Furthermore, because she had access to the King, she of all the Jews could do something about the death decree. Ugh. She was in a comfortable position, holding a revered role in a new story. But really what appeared to have been a whole new story was just a part of that older story she thought she had left – God’s story of saving his people. So, she returned to that story and risked her life.
Many things today can take us out of God’s story – that work of reconciling people to himself. We get caught up in the rush to build our lives with a career, friends, and family. It’s safe and we receive affirmation from society. However, it can also numb us to the pain and brokenness of others. That is until we stop and listen to the Mordecais in our lives. Have we been placed in specific positions for such a time as this? Are we in positions to play a small or large role in helping God redeem his creation?
Today is Purim, the Jewish holiday set aside to celebrate the story told in the book of Esther. What better way to observe this time than to join in God’s continued saving ways in the lives of people around us.