This week the devotional I am reading took me to the Old Testament book of Esther. Esther was the Queen of the Persian King Xerxes. Xerxes reigned from 486-465 BCE. After Queen Vashti had refused to obey King Xerxes, Esther was chosen as Queen because of her beauty.  The plot unfolds as Haman, the king’s chief advisor, is offended by Esther’s cousin and guardian, Mordecai.

Seeking revenge, Haman convinces King Xerxes to decree that all the Jews in the kingdom will be killed. This decree would include Esther and Mordecai, as they were Jewish. Then Esther takes a bold step and does something that a queen was not supposed to do: She comes into the king’s presence without an invitation. King Xerxes not only receives her but also reverses his order and gives the Jewish people permission to fight back and kill their enemies. Because of his deception, Haman is impaled on a tall pole and left for all to see.

From the day she was picked as a candidate to be queen, I think that Esther must have wondered, “Why is this happening to me, God? Why am I in this position? I am just a young, Jewish woman! Why, God?” To an outsider looking at Esther’s situation, it just did not make sense. Here was a Jewish woman serving the Persian Empire as their queen. Yet, from God’s perspective, Esther was exactly where she needed to be. This Jewish queen in a foreign land would save her people from certain death. What other queen would have cared? What other queen would have been bold enough to burst into the king’s throne room unannounced? In Esther 4:14, Mordecai says these words to Esther, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?”  

Have you ever felt that you had no clue why God put you in a particular place or situation? Maybe it was a new person in your life who you later find out is struggling in their marriage in exactly the same way you struggled in the past. Your words of encouragement give them the hope they need to persevere through a difficult time. Maybe God has placed you somewhere right now and you have been so focused on your own life that you are missing an opportunity He has placed right in front of you. It could be with your spouse, your kids, a family friend, or a stranger. Maybe it is at your place of work, your church, or the gym where you work out.  

I believe with all my heart that God puts us in places and situations “for such a time as this.”  Places and situations where you, with God’s help, can make an eternal difference. So today, look up and see what God has placed in front of you. The time could be now!

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