by Susie Crosby
“…Who knows? Maybe you were made for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14 MSG
I guess nobody does.
Right now, in the middle of a global pandemic, there is overwhelming uncertainty. I have so many questions, and I keep looking for answers from government leaders and scientists and doctors. I watch the news and search on my phone, but no one can tell me for sure if school will open in the fall, if the groceries I pick up at the store are safe, how long I have to stay 6 feet away from everyone, and if the people I love are going to be okay.
But then I remember that God knows. God knows every single thing. He knew this was going to happen, He knows how our lives have changed, He knows what it’s going to look like on the other side.
People keep saying this is “unprecedented.” On a huge scale, yes, it is. But if we think about it, we experience unprecedented things in our lives all the time.
The first time we live independently and earn our own money.
The first time a disease or injury affects our family in life-altering ways.
The first time we experience loss.
The first time we create or grow or try something new.
The first time our life takes a turn that wasn’t planned.
The first time we fail publicly and have to figure out how to come back.
The first time we step out in faith and trust our hearts to Jesus.
We grieve, we delight, and we grow profoundly through the “firsts”.
The book of Esther is the story of a brave and thoughtful Jewish woman who found herself experiencing one of these “firsts”. For a Jewish woman–especially an orphaned, captive Jewish woman like Esther– to become Queen was completely unprecedented. I imagine that being part of a king’s harem and living in a palace together with all of his concubines was not what Esther had expected her life would look like. And risking her life to save her people by standing up to the king was not something she would have ever dreamed of doing.
But in chapter 4 of her story, we find her in this unexpected situation. She is experiencing something that she really can’t control, and she doesn’t know whether it will end well or not.
At the crisis point, her father-figure Mordecai encourages her by saying, “…Who knows? Maybe you were made for such a time as this.”
Esther dared to believe that God’s plan included her. She prayed and fasted for three days before approaching the king on behalf of her people. And God honored her faith and her bravery. Through a series of surprising and unpredictable events, King Xerxes reversed the death sentence he had ordered against the Jews and gave them freedom and power over their enemies.
We can’t possibly imagine what amazing things God is growing and changing and working in the midst of this pandemic. We don’t think the way He thinks or work the way he works, and we don’t always get to know His plans ahead of time.
But we do know that He loves us unconditionally, that He makes all things new, and that He works all things together for good. We know that He does unexpected and surprising work through unlikely people and unfamiliar circumstances all the time. And we know that He is listening to our prayers and holding us in His strong and gentle hands through such a time as this.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
About the author: Susie is a grateful mom of two (almost) grown boys who currently live and go to school in Honolulu, Hawaii. She and her husband live in a seaside town in the Puget Sound region called Mukilteo. They love to hike and kayak, they are huge Seattle sports fans, and they mostly love hanging out at home with their little dog Koko. Susie teaches P.E., Art, Technology, and Music at an all-kindergarten school which keeps her busy full time. Her passion and joy is sharing encouraging words with the people she loves. She is an active blogger and speaker, and she is the author of Just One Word: 90 Devotions to Invite Jesus In. She is always on the lookout for fun coffee shops, inspiring books, remote beaches, and farmers’ markets. Connect with Susie at www.susiecrosby.com.
Join the conversation: How can you imagine God using you in such a time as this?