September 21, 2020
By Carol Joseph
I love a good story. Especially one where the lead character steps up and does something courageous that makes a difference in the lives of others.
The story of Esther is like that. Hiding the fact that she’s a Jew, Esther gains favor with King Xerxes and becomes his queen. After Xerxes is tricked into issuing a decree to kill all the Jews, Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, pleads with her to approach the king and appeal for mercy for her people. Sounds easy, except that would likely expose her secret. And at that time, women—even the queen—did not approach the King; they waited to be summoned. Merely entering the King’s palace uninvited could be cause for death.
I often try to imagine what I would do if placed in such circumstances; of having to risk my life to stand up for God and/or others. My ego and pride say I would rise to the challenge. But another part of me, the part where I must be completely honest with myself, knows that I have kept quiet in situations where the only danger I faced was not death, but the judgment of others.
Mordecai, in his own act of faith, tells Esther that one way or another, God will rescue his chosen people. It’s just a matter of whether or not she will play a part in that salvation and reap the benefits. She can be a hero or a casualty; the choice is hers.
“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.” (Esther 4:14 NIV)
Looking back on my life, I see many instances where God invited me to step up and do His work. Not because I was the only one suited for the job or because God simply couldn’t do it without me, but because He wanted me to experience the joy and blessings that would come from heeding His call.
The times I answered yes prompted beautiful and unexpected results. Results that touched my heart and left a lasting imprint on my soul. Results that made me grateful for the experiences, but also left me wondering about all that I had missed out on; blessings that never came to pass and lives that were not impacted, because out of fear, selfishness, or just plain laziness, I choose not to say yes to God.
I was recently presented with one of those choices: the opportunity to be a contributing writer for this blog. Writing for a Christian blog can be intimidating and scary. It requires a level of openness and vulnerability that doesn’t come naturally to me. A commitment to show up and reveal the less-than-perfect parts of my life. The I wish-I-had-it-done-it-differently parts and the boy-have-I-still-got-a-lot-to-learn parts.
Saying no would have been easy. I am 100% confident that God and this ministry can and will carry on without me. But this time, I don’t want to miss out—on what God has planned for me and the stories that He has already prepared for me to share with you.
Is there something in your life that God is calling you to do? Are you feeling a persistent nudge to step out of your comfort zone? It could be something as small as introducing yourself to that neighbor you always wave to, but have never taken the time to get to know, or as big as following a dream that’s been tucked away in the recesses of your heart.
God wants us to live lives of abundance, filled with people, experiences, and stories He has written for specifically for you and me. Let’s ask God for the courage to say yes and watch the beauty unfold.
“And who knows that you have come to your royal position for a time such as this?” (Esther 4:14b NIV)