My family and I love watching the Veggie Tales story of Esther, the Girl Who Became Queen - A lesson in...Courage. The Veggie Tales version of the Biblical, Old Testament story of the book of Esther is a really cute children's DVD!
Recently, we watched the movie of Esther that has real people playing the roles instead of cute, talking vegetables. I was so impressed with the story. I have read the Biblical book of Esther several times, but the lesson in courage
has never hit me as strongly as it did while watching the movie.
To greatly simplify the story...although Esther was Jewish, she was the queen of Persia. There was a man that was planning on annihilating all of the Jewish people. When Esther's cousin, the man that had been looking after her, found out the plan, he told Esther to go before the King to plead for the lives of her
people. This was a frightening order because the law stated that to go before the King without being summoned was punishable by death. If, however, the King allows the person to approach him, then the punishment is avoided. Esther's cousin told her that maybe she was in this position as queen "for such a time as this."
Esther decided that she would go before the King, and if she dies, she dies. She fasted and prayed, and then went before the King to make a request of the King in order to, eventually, expose this evil plan so that her people could be spared.
That was a very simplified version of the story, but the point I want to make is that Esther knew that she could die if she approached the King, but her courage to live out her God-given destiny "for such a time as this" changed the direction of an evil plan against an entire nation of people.
There was a moment in my life when I needed tremendous courage to make an extremely important decision. It was a decision that had the potential to change the entire direction of my life. Prior to this "moment of decision," I loved God and I loved Jesus as my Savior, but I did not trust God enough to give me the
courage I needed to continue to obey His rules. The decision I was faced with was the decision to continue to love God and follow His rules, or trash the whole "God-thing" altogether! There was no in-between. I needed an enormous
amount of courage to continue to stand for God. Sadly, I buckled under the pressure. Although I do not remember the details because what led up to that moment was extremely traumatic, I do remember "the moment of decision." In that moment I made a deliberate, conscious decision to walk away from God. I trashed the whole "God-thing!" It did change the whole direction of my life...it led me straight to evil...and it came very, very close to killing me.
I was not a "present-day Esther." I "could have been" in that situation for "such a time as this," but in that "moment of decision" I ran from the
opportunity in fear. To make a sad, downward-spiraling story even more heart-breaking, from that moment until many years later, I hid from the very God that could rescue me from my poor decision and give me the courage to crawl back to Him.
Many heart-wrenching years later, I was faced with another "moment of decision." Thankfully, I had learned my lesson. I learned it the hard way, but I did learn it. This time, I allowed God access to my life once again, and I trusted Him enough to give me the courage I would need to live "this moment" -- and every moment from this moment forward -- for Him. It took an enormous amount of courage, but when the God Who created the universe supplies it, it is more than enough to get us through each moment!
That "moment" was my second opportunity to live out my destiny "for such a time as this!"
I have continued to live out my God-given destiny with courage even in fearful, dreadfully painful moments...because I can now see that I was created "for such a time as this!" I am enjoying my destined journey of moments...more than I ever thought I could!
With a possible punishment of death in front of her, Esther fasted and prayed, and then relied on God for the courage to live out her God-given destiny! God has an incredible destiny for each of us. The Bible reveals to us that God has a good plan for you and me. His plan is not to harm us, but to give us hope and a future. The future God desires to give us is in line with how He plans to use each one of us "for such a time as this" to change the direction of evil in this world! When we pray and ask God what His plan is for us, and then walk in courage to follow that plan, God's joy overwhelms us!
He proved it to be true for Esther...He proved it to be true for me...and He can prove it to be true for you! Like Esther, live out your God-given destiny with courage...for God has given you "this moment" -- "for such a time as this,"
and only God truly knows how He plans to use you to change the direction of evil in this world!
That is the true joy of courage!