Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created… ~Esther 4:14
In our lives, we go through hard times. Some more than others. Sometimes it’s hard to understand why. When in the midst of the storm, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even more so, it’s hard to see the light in the middle of the storm. With the world in the state that it is, our culture in the movement that it is, it is easy to fall into the mind-set that God is vacant from our world. Some people would even like for you to believe that!
So is God at work in our struggles? More often than not, women come to me asking how they can believe that God is still at work in their lives when it seems like God has turned his back on them. Our faith is tested most when we go through tragedy or a life-changing event. One of my favorite parts of the Bible to bring to light, is the book of Esther. Esther is known to be the Queen and savior of the Jews. But who was she before that? God used Esther and all the horrible circumstances surrounding her to save an entire nation. Esther’s endurance was strong, but her faith was stronger. No matter what happened in her life, she never turned away from God.
What was so special about Esther? Out of all the jewish women, why Esther? Many people know the PG version of Esther: She lived with her Uncle Mordecai, is selected to become future queen, wins the heart of the king, and saves the Jews! Although all of this is true, there are so very many important details left out… Esther was orphaned at a young age when her parents were murdered. Because of this, she lived with her closest relative, Mordecai. Back in this time, orphans were not a part of normal society, but were actually treated as low as cattle. Esther most likely had a very hard childhood because of this.
What were Esther’s trials? We know in Esther chapter 2, that the King called a decree to round up all virgins in the kingdom. Esther was kidnapped from her home, and torn away from the only family she had ever known. She probably suffered a substantial amount of trauma from this incident, as she had now lost her third parental figure. The amount of anger and hurt she must have felt, some of us can relate to. But even through this, Esther trusted in God to deliver her from evil. Esther was then put through preparations to meet the King. This would have included baths, and other sanitary preparations. Finally they were taken into the King’s quarters where they could clothe themselves in riches to be more appealing. Esther chose to stay modest, and refused the jewelry. Then finally, each women was sent the King to be slept with. Yes, unwillingly. These women would be presented at night, and would return to quarters in the morning. Esther was one of these women who had her innocence taken from her unwillingly.
Even after all this, Esther still had faith. Esther pleased the King, and consequently was crowned queen. But God was not finished with her yet. He was with her through the deaths, the capture, the rape. He was with her when she was crowned queen. And now, he wanted to show her what her life was created for. God used Esther’s faith to call her to save His people. She went before the King, uninvited, to plead for the lives of her people. She knew this would mean she could be killed, but still listened to God’s calling.
God used Esther where she was, in the midst of all her pain and suffering, to show how good of a God he is. God used the orphan, the captive, the woman whose innocence was stolen, to further the kingdom of heaven. God used Esther because of her strength and her faith. God’s heart broke to see what Esther had gone through, and used her to save thousands of people. What if Esther had not trusted in God through her trails? What if she had given up?
What does this mean for Millennials? We all go through our struggles, myself included. I have been through times when i feel like there is no way that this could ever be used for good. But through it all, I have always tried to remember the story of Esther. It doesn’t matter what you have been through, or what you’re going through. God is writing your story, and he’s not finished with you yet. You may be on your way to bankruptcy, you may be in a relationship that is draining you. You may have lost a loved one, or have been taken advantage of. God sees your struggles, and his heart breaks for you. You are not alone. God is at work; you have a purpose, even if you can’t see it yet.