Everyone experiences a bad day, oftentimes we don't realize the choices we make in the midst of them can have a profound impact. Recently, I had a difficult day. You probably know the kind, where everything just seems hard. What likely prompted this; I became overwhelmed with comparison, looking around at co-workers, bloggers, friends, family, feeling as though my life just didn't amount to much. I know it is terrible, the snare of comparison trips us down a winding road that leads to ungratefulness missing critical opportunities to answer the call. Looking back on that day, I was so caught up in my own failings and disappointments that I missed an opportunity to extend compassion to someone in their time of need.
Later that evening, after all, was said and done, I had a moment within myself to contemplate the day and it brought me back to a verse I had read in the Book of Esther. I realized many people over the ages have quoted the words of Mordecai. These words are spoken to provide strength and encouragement when facing difficult decisions. I am sure you've heard them, “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14. On this particular evening, I received some much-needed clarity.
Sometimes the most challenging decision we face is looking away from self and situations pulling us in every direction to embrace Christ and that which He has called us to do.
Esther faced an epic decision whether to remain silent, which would lead to her death and the death of her family or take action, which could provide deliverance for an entire nation. The choice sounds easy, but in fact, her action would require great faith, for Esther would need to come into the presence of the king. A little background, during this time, if someone came before the king uninvited, the penalty was death. Therefore, this was no small request made by Mordecai. Esther exercised wisdom requesting a corporate fast, then made the decision to go before King Ahasuerus. She received favor from the king, and her action opened the door for her to unveil the schemes of the evil Haman. If you have not read the story, spoiler alert, Mordecai and Esther work together on a proclamation allowing the Jews to defend themselves, thus saving the nation from annihilation.
There are so many gems woven into the intricacy of Esther’s story, particularly the depth of her sacrifice. Esther was chosen at this time for this specific cause. It got me thinking of her calling and then ponder ours as believers in Jesus. We may be called to something but we are chosen by Someone. As children of God, we are removed from the kingdom of darkness and placed in the eternal Kingdom of Christ. Our position in Christ comes with great responsibility and this looks very different from the world; John the Baptist reminds us, "He must increase, but I must decrease" John 3v30.
It is a high calling whereby we make the decision daily to choose Christ over self and love others. How does this look practically? It is living with a fresh revelation of Christ's finish work on the cross, which allows us to maximize every opportunity to live sacrificially through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 12v1-2, 9-21). We are called to die to self and the things of this world and each day we are invited to choose Jesus over what we think, see, and feel, allowing Him to guide what we do. Therefore, this is no meager calling but a marvelous destiny!
Oftentimes, we can operate unaware of the magnitude of influence presented in the opportunities set before us. If we think our day-to-day as ordinary and our contribution insignificant we miss the chance to be effective for the cause of Christ. The truth is, there is no such thing as insignificant in Christ. Cleary in the past, when I read the words of Mordecai I thought of them as for Esther or I saw them enlight of extraordinary situations that other people would face, thereby seeing my life as ordinary. I believe every day is extraordinary in Christ, therefore Mordecai's words are applicable to All followers of Jesus, at All times.
Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
How will you allow the Truth to shape the moments of your day?