For such a time as this…

For such a time as this…              

I’ve been studying Neighborhood Mapping by Dr. Jon Fuder with a group of neighbors, and we recently discussed Esther.

 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”  — Esther 4:14

We talked about this passage – how Esther was in the palace for such a time as this – a time where she had an opportunity to speak on behalf of her people.  Her position was unexpected, but it had a purpose.  We talked about not remaining silent, about using our voices in our communities.

Then, at community group the next night we talked about Job and suffering.  I spoke about how I don’t believe that God makes us suffer, but He does sometimes allow it.  Someone then asked me, “Do you feel like you can say that the things you went through as a kid were ‘for such a time as this?’”  My answer was an unwavering YES.  When I think about the kids that I’ve connected with the best, they’ve had very similar stories to my own.  Would God care for them without me being present?  Sure.  Just like Esther, God didn’t rely on her – she could have chosen to remain silent and God would have still provided relief and deliverance.  Likewise, I can choose to keep my story to myself, to pretend life was easier.  In doing so, it’d be easy to question why I suffered the way I did, why things were so difficult.  But in reconciling with my path, reconciling with God in knowing that he wants to bring beauty for ashes I have the opportunity to connect with kids who need to see reconciliation, who need to see what life can look like on the other side.

The other point that stands out to me is that Esther and her family would perish if she remained silent.  You’ve probably heard the statement “a little piece of me died that day” in reference to traumatic events in people’s lives.  Maybe you’ve uttered that in regards to your own life.  In recognizing God’s presence in our story – not just the big picture, but in every little detail – we find redemption in those moments.  We do not have to let those pieces of us, of our hearts, die.  We can see restoration.  That’s what Christ came for.

In speaking up and speaking out in the places we’ve been called to, we get to encourage and edify others, and receive purpose and healing in our own hearts.  Just as Esther was in the palace for such a time as this, I am in Glenwood for such a time as this.  And Christ died for such a time as this.