She squints up at the towering gold statues and marble pillars and catches her breath at how the light gleams off of each massive structure inlaid with gemstones. The grandeur seems to stretch as high as she can see and sparkle like the sun. Every detail has been designed to inspire awe and strike fear into the heart of anyone in the palace as they approach the king’s court. It reminds her again of the power and capriciousness of this man that she calls husband.
Esther’s heart pounds wildly and her stomach turns over in knots. “I am breaking the law to try to see him without his permission. If he doesn’t want to see me, I will be put to death! His first wife was banished for much less than this.”
Every intricate layer of her royal robes and her heavy golden crown inlaid with pearls feels like iron weights pressing down on every inch of her body. She hasn’t had anything to eat or drink in three days, and her body feels weak and faint. She keeps walking although she’s trembling, getting closer and closer to the inner court of the king.
She and her people have prayed and fasted for this moment, and she is sure that this is what must be done. She must plead with the king to save the lives of her people. Her cousin Mordecai’s words ring loudly in her head: “what if you became queen for such a time as this?”
She closes her eyes and envisions the kind and loving God of her people. She has cried out to Him for a miracle. Now she feels the weight of this miracle resting on her shoulders. "You have made me queen, and you have given me access and authority,” she whispers to Him. “I choose to trust that You are on my side, and that You have heard my cries. I choose to do this. I cannot remain silent. If I perish, I perish. I choose to believe that I have been prepared for this moment.”
Queen Esther wasn’t born a queen. She wasn’t born with favor or influence. Esther wasn’t used to being the person that others listened to, or someone whose choices made a difference. Esther was, in the eyes of most people, an insignificant person. Her story began when the king banished his first wife to show every woman in the kingdom that their voice, thoughts, and ideas should not be expressed. Esther was then thrust into a bizarre contest to become the next queen. After an entire year in a harem, being prepared with 400 other women, her turn finally came to meet the king. The king was delighted by her, and she won his favor and approval. And so it happened that an orphaned, exiled Jewish girl became the queen of an entire nation.
VICTIM MENTALITY OR POWERFUL BELIEFS
Esther must have questioned why all of this happened to her. Her plan was probably to marry a humble, righteous Jewish man and lead a quiet life. Instead, she became the queen of a pagan nation. She must have often wondered what God was doing. Like Esther, you might have found yourself in situations that you never planned to be in. However, also like Esther, you have a choice in circumstances that feel outside of your control to make the powerful decision to manage your heart and trust God. Your beliefs about a problem are more important than the problem itself. Can you imagine what would have happened if Esther would have had a victim-mentality? What if she had sat down in her misery, wondering why her life didn’t turn out the way she had planned? A people group would have perished, and we would have missed out on the story of one of the most courageous women in history. Esther inspires us to look for opportunities to be used by Him in every situation.
GOD IS PREPARING YOU
Esther didn’t wake up one day and make a flippant decision to risk her life for her people. She walked through a season of preparation, like you may be walking through right now. The Holy Spirit is preparing you today, even in the moments that seem inconsequential. The decisions in front of you right now may seem small and insignificant, but they make a big difference. Small moments are what create you, especially when you powerfully choose what you are going to believe when it seems like your choice has been taken away. It is your inner courageous decisions that guide you into your destiny. Each one prepares you to make great and influential decisions when the time comes.
AN OFFERING OF TRUST
Sometimes, when you already know the end of a story, you forget to put yourself in the shoes of the main character who didn't. Esther had to make the brave decisions she made without knowing what the consequences would be. She went to the king thinking that she would likely lose her life. She had no guarantees of a happy ending, but she took the risk regardless.
If you can’t see the end of your story yet, either, you have an opportunity you will never have again. You have the opportunity to make choices of courage and faith, before you know how it will all turn out. You get to give God an offering of trust and tell Him that you are all-in for Him, regardless of the outcome. If you knew exactly what was going to happen, you wouldn’t be able to give Him this offering. This invitation is only available when you’re in the middle of your story. Will you let fear debilitate you until you find out what will happen, or will you allow the uncertainty to shape you into a queen of courage?
THE KING'S FAVOR
He holds out his scepter, signaling for her to come to him. She lets out a short breath, feeling lightheaded with relief. God has shown her favor! She approaches the throne and touches the tip of his scepter. The king asks, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”
Esther’s courage is met with the king’s favor. The lives of the Jews are spared and God saves his people like He had done over and over again. But this time, He doesn’t show up in an obviously supernatural way. He performs a miracle through Esther’s brave decision.
YOU ARE THE MIRACLE
Esther didn’t hide and hope that God would appear and perform a miracle some other way. She acted. She didn’t wait for a sign. She didn’t ask for permission. She didn’t wait for someone else to do what needed to be done. She took the risk. She stood up and said what needed to be said, and believed that her voice could make a difference.
Sometimes the answer to an overwhelming situation isn’t a big miracle, or God’s direct and supernatural intervention. Sometimes the answer lies within you, in how He has already prepared you, and in what you have already been given. Sometimes God lets YOU be the answer. He has given you all that you need to be the hero - not the victim.
CHOOSE YOUR STORY
The Author of your story never takes away your freedom of choice. You always get to create your story. He sets you up for success, but He never wants to control you. You are fully trusted with hard decisions. You have the courage to sacrifice safety and comfort, and to push through your fear. You have what it takes to make powerful choices that shape history. He already knows that you can do it. He is the Author, the Finisher, and the Perfecter of your story. He is the one who prepares you and gives you everything you need to grow you into the hero you were created to be.
To infuse courage into your beliefs, declare these truths over yourself today:
- I don’t have to wait for permission, God is calling me to step out and speak up
- I have what it takes.
- I am brave and I dare to make bold decisions.
- I was created to take risks in faith. High stakes don’t scare me.
- I have been prepared to take on what’s in front of me.
- I am royal and powerful.
- God’s timing is perfect; I’m never too early or too late.
- I am highly favored and divinely protected.
- The time is now.
- I was chosen for such a time as this.
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If the story of Esther speaks to you - if you know that your time is now and that you have what it takes to make a difference - then this piece is for you. Wear a physical reminder of what God has prepared you for and of what you have been given. You were created for such a time as this, and you can be the answer in a world that is searching for truth.
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Written by Alyssa Hause