The story of Esther can be one of the most inspiring stories for a young woman. Only in the movies do we see someone not related to royalty become queen! Esther was an orphan, raised by her uncle. She was part of a nationality that had been taken captive by their enemies. If anyone had reason to believe that she would never become something great or significant, it was Esther. Regardless of her weaknesses, however, Someone saw her God-fearing heart and declared that she was placed in her era “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) Though she once had reason to question her ability to save her people, she realized that it was her time to be alive. There was a purpose for every moment she spent in the king’s courts – even when the situation in court became challenging.
I’ve never had to face death or the possibility of my family being wiped off the planet. I couldn’t possibly tell you what being queen feels like! But I have had to face some insecurities. Mine, however, weren’t as heroic as being the savior of a nation. They were more along the lines of vanity and impatience.
For years I’ve been confident about what I am called to do in life. I’ve had a list of dreams that have kept my focus and excitement on my future. But my confidence began to shake when I turned twenty-five. I was bummed. By then I started showing faint, tiny lines under my eyes. Little pieces of gray appeared in random places in my hair. (Never mind that no one else noticed, and even I had to search with a magnifying glass to find them!) Worst of all, I wasn’t married yet or in full-time ministry like I had always dreamed. Surely there was something I was missing!
Not long after my twenty-fifth birthday, though, God sat me down for a “little talk.” (You know the kind when God tactfully tells you to stop whining?) He basically said to me, “Christa, you are exactly where I want you to be, doing what I want you to do, and in the time I want you to do it.” I shut my mouth as a weight lifted off me and I was at peace again. I wasn’t off track. I hadn’t missed anything. I was still in God’s will for me, and He was in control.
Sometimes we look at our lives and all the “bummers” we face and think that somehow God made a mistake in placing us where we are. We compare ourselves to other people’s lives and assume that when and where things happen to them is when it should happen to us. Our best buddy gets married when she turns twenty-one. We, on the other hand, are still standing alone. Someone goes to college, but we’re still working hard at a retail store in the mall. We don’t see our dreams coming true right away and think, “This can’t be God’s will for me!” However, God doesn’t compare our lives to someone else’s. The plan and time line He has for one person may be totally different than what He has for someone else. Only the world puts value on time, youth, and beauty, as if without them we aren’t quite as valuable. God, however, declares that our value comes from Him. Following His plan for us – no matter when and where – is all the confidence we need.
I believe God desires us to be like Esther – to appreciate and act on the here and now. The challenge is to quit counting the birthdays , little flaws, and disappointments. Our lives, after all, aren’t our own (I Corinthians 6:19). We’re here for a purpose, even if it doesn’t seem like the events in our lives are happening as quickly as we would like. The closer we walk with our King, the sooner we see our assignment in life – and all the blessings that come with it – come into reality.
“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”