These days I find myself often considering and being challenged by Mordecai’s words from Esther 4:14 – And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
The story of Esther has been a source of inspiration for me for some time. Esther’s courage, her commitment to her people and her strength in the face of such powerful opposition have encouraged me for years to try and be the woman God has called me to be in my own time such as this.
Esther is easy to relate to in many ways. She was put in a position she had little control over but was called on to act. I can relate to feeling out of control. She was given an opportunity to make a difference. I can relate to wanting to be the one to save people, to be the hero. She was scared to act at first and did so only after a push from someone close to her. I can relate to being afraid, to being reluctant, to needing that nudge toward movement. So many pieces of Esther’s story resonate with me.
I imagine many of us have seen ourselves as the Esther of the stories that are unfolding around us. The person poised to challenge power, take a risk and shake things up. The one who is in the lead and who brings about the happy ending. And I am sure many of us have had our Esther moments. Hopefully we will have more – if we are watchful and faithful.
But recently I started to wonder about the other people in the story. What if in my current “time such as this” I am not Esther? What if I am Mordecai? What if I am the King?
Mordecai might not be earning any leading actor Oscars in an Esther movie but he is central to the story none the less. He is the one who challenged Esther when she was understandably afraid. Mordecai urged her to consider the consequences to others and herself of her inaction. So, I wondered – are there people in my life I should be challenging? People who have greatness in them who need a Mordecai to guide them, to challenge them and to lead them toward the things they are called to? Without Mordecai’s guidance Esther’s story may have been quite different and I believe we all could say the same of mentors, leaders, pastors and friends who have played that key role in our own faith stories.
Am I meant to a be a Mordecai in a time such as this?
Most unlikely of all I considered if I am ever the King in the story. The King has all the power. He can change the fate of Esther’s people, God’s people. He holds all the cards – for better or worse. I don’t usually think of myself like this. But I have great privilege that some others don’t. I have power that some don’t. I have resources that many don’t. Maybe I am more like the King than I think – maybe I could choose to use my resources, my privilege and my power to protect or empower others rather than indulge myself?
Am I meant to be the King in a time such as this?
In times such as this I think we all have more than one role to play. Probably we will be Esthers, Mordecais and Kings at different times if we are paying attention and willing to hear the call.