Before she was queen, she was a humble and exquisitely beautiful woman plucked from a nondescript life. A woman minding her own business…an orphan raised by an uncle. In that part of the world, in that day and age, women were not destined to really be anything of consequence. They were property at best.
Maybe you are familiar with this story from the Bible. She was plucked from her home and taken to the king’s palace with hundreds of other women to win the contest of the most beautiful, most alluring and charming female. The king was done with the current queen and was ready for the newer and more malleable model. Queen Vashti was on the outs.
Esther was vetted and prepped and sent before the king. To make a long story short, he picked her. He was smitten. God was at work to preserve His people…her people. God is always at work. Even if we don’t see it and aren’t picking up on it. He often works below our radar. He has a plan.
There was one man in the kingdom who despised the Jewish people and Esther’s uncle in particular. His goal was to annihilate them. But, due to Esther’s great courage and God’s favor, she prevented this atrocity and saved her people. And, as a twist of fate, this vindictive man was put to death with the same gallows he had planned for Esther’s uncle, Mordecai. Talk about irony.
God doesn’t play. He had redemptive plans far bigger than man could see.
The amazing point of the story is this: Esther was willing to be used and stepped up to the plate. She prepared herself physically, intellectually and spiritually to carry out this audacious responsibility. She knew the risk involved. Death was a high possibility. God knew he could count on this one humble, Jewish woman.
What does this story have to do with my blog post this week?
obedience and risk
As we journey through this life, we enter different seasons. Regardless of the season, we have choices to make. Will we be obedient to what God is calling us to do? Are we willing to take the risks this might require? What is God calling us to do that is risky? Perhaps it doesn’t look as glamorous as the potential of becoming queen. But, you know there is a cost.
Submission isn’t really submission until you have to obey in something you don’t want to obey. Life is a series of choices. Each choice to obey Christ and his invitation makes us stronger. It becomes easier with each choice. Esther willingingly stepped up to be used for a greater cause.
Or, it could be, right now you are in a waiting season. Maybe He isn’t asking you to be in the business of doing a particular assignment at this moment. Then your time is now! There are some tasks at hand. This is your time to prepare. Like Esther, there is much you can do to prepare for the assignments in the future. Take a look:
Be patient. It’s hard sometimes in the waiting. It often feels like being stuck. It isn’t glamorous and isn’t always easy. You may have dreams, but God isn’t bringing them to fruition until you are truly ready. It won’t happen until His good time. Now is the time to get ready.
- Learn. This is the perfect time to learn and grow. Find a mentor. Read and study. When God is ready is ready to send you out, you need to have grown deeper and wider.
- Listen. What does He want to say to you? What treasures in the secret place does He want to reveal. There are things you need to know. Choose quiet instead of complaint.
- Praise. Gratitude is the key to growing deep in the waiting. It makes the waiting a lot more enjoyable as well! It opens our hearts to His possibilities.
- Keep the heart right. This is probably one of the hardest tasks in the waiting. It’s easy to doubt, get anxious, become frustrated, or maybe even turn bitter. Just don’t go there. Rest in the knowledge that no season devoted to God is ever wasted. Realize the beauty that will come if you allow it.
I’ve lived through many seasons of preparation and waiting.
At first glance, these seasons seem mundane, trivial and unproductive. But, if they are devoted to Christ, they are anything but wasted. The depth and strength developed through those times grew me to the level I needed, in order to properly handle the next task and season. Never despise the seemingly insignificant and ordinary days. The world calls for “doing” and “busy-ness”. In that paradigm, doing and busyness is the sign of importance and accomplishment. Not so in the paradigm of Christ.
Just like Esther, be ready! When the season of waiting and preparation is done, God has an assignment for you to join. He will call to you. Be watching and waiting. Keep your ears close to the heart of God. He will call. After all, isn’t this what you have been preparing for?