I don’t know about you, but recently I find myself reminiscing about the days before we ever heard of Coronavirus. When I could go to Walmart and not see other shoppers in masks and wearing gloves. When my daughter who is a Senior in high school, was still planning to go to prom and graduation without fear of it being cancelled. I know we all have some serious issues we’re dealing with as a result of this pandemic, but as all this was running through my mind, a well-known saying from a verse in the Bible resonated: “For such a time as this.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Scripture, this is a beautiful, inspiring story about a young Jewish woman named Esther. Esther was chosen by the king out of hundreds of other young women to be queen of a nation who did not follow her God (Esther 2:17). During this reign, one of the kings men devised a scheme to annihilate the Jewish people in the entire region (Esther 3:6). Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, caught wind of the plot so he sent a message to Esther. She must go to the king and beg for mercy and plead with him for her people (Esther 4:8). The problem was, no one, not even the queen, was permitted to go to the king unless summoned or the king could have you killed if he chose to. Esther relays this bit of important news to her uncle Mordecai; “Then she instructed him to say 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.’” (Esther 4:10-11).
A good enough reason to not do it if you ask me! Do you, like me, find yourself relating to Esther here? When we’re staring down the mountain in front of us, facing our giants and one-hundred and one reasons, or excuses, as to why we can’t, shouldn’t or won’t runs through our minds! Fear makes excuses for Esther too. Fear reasons away all the good that will come of her actions if she goes through with it. Her rationale was sound. She could lose her life.
Mordecai however responds with this; “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 4:12-14)
I believe it is the same for each of us! We are each placed here, now for such a time as this. Wherever you are, however you got there, you are there now for a purpose! God planted you there with the gifts He gave you for such a time as this!
“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’”
How many of us are facing fear right now? Esther certainly was, but still chose to act! I imagine her knees shaking a little as she approached the King, but still she did it! Is fear of the unknown gripping you so tightly you can’t move? Certainly these times can cause us all to be fearful—I am not suggesting we don’t have reason for concern—but, what I propose to you is this; in what way can you combat that fear? For such a time as this. What gifts and talents are you blessed with for such a time as this? Esther was blessed with beauty and a pleasing disposition that won her the favor of the king (Esther 2:15-18) so she could save her people! How are you using your gifts and talents to benefit others for such a time as this? How can you be a blessing?
We may have to do the whole “social-distancing” thing, but we have such advanced technology, and we’re certainly a creative people, so use your imagination! Skype an elderly person that is lonely. Call your local nursing home or hospital to chat with someone who needs an uplifting word! (Following each institutions rules and guidelines of course!) Call your local homeless shelter, church, etc., to find out needs they may have that you can fulfill without endangering yourself or others of course. Write, draw, dance, sing, throw, kick, hit that ball to encourage and uplift another! Video yourself doing your thing and send to a loved one to stay connected! When we encourage others, we can actually encourage ourselves! Uplift others with your gifts—for such a time as this. Get creative!
In this difficult season, let’s all be intentional about finding moments to treasure for such a time as this!