I wonder if Esther ever questioned why she was chosen to go to the king’s palace. After all, she spent over a year there before she ever met the king. In that day and age, living in the palace probably wasn’t as wonderful as we imagine. Only one of those women would become queen. The rest? They would live their days out in the palace, possibly with only seeing the king once. Unless he called for them by name, they would never see him again. Just imagine that for a moment. Most of those women knew that they would probably live their lives out in solitude – sure with other women – but without a real husband and without children. Realistically, the king would only continue to see a handful of them; it wasn’t good odds.
However, we know why Esther was there. We know that she had a very special role to play – to save God’s people. The king of Persia was ruthless; it took an unbelievable amount of courage to go before him, but she did. We know it, and God knew it, but she didn’t – not until afterward.
What if God has allowed all of the pain and hardship in your life so you would be right where you needed to be? What if he created you for such a time as this? I feel so horribly inadequate at times trying to parent children on my own, especially hurting children who have lost so much when they lost their dad. But what if, somehow, I was the right person for this job? I definitely don’t feel that way, but God put me here, and I know he doesn’t make mistakes. What if I have more compassion for others in the future who are struggling with their own difficulties? What if I’m better able to relate to other women who have had their worlds torn apart and minister to them because of what I’ve been through? What if there’s a role in the future that I could only play if I’d gone through what I’m going through right now?
Ruth didn’t know she was going to marry Boaz and become one of Christ’s ancestors. She just knew that she had to go out and do the back-breaking work of gleaning in the fields so she and her mother-in-law didn’t starve. Joseph didn’t know he would save his whole family and the nation of Egypt from starvation. He just knew he’d been sold into slavery and that he’d spent years in prison after doing what was right.
Here’s the lesson for us. We’re stuck in the middle of the story right now. We don’t know how it will turn out, but we can trust that God does. We can trust that He has a plan and is working even now for our good and to use us for the good of others. Sweet sister, take heart. Even if you’re bone weary today or struggling with depression or angry with God himself, God loves you and has a plan for you. Perhaps he has placed you right where you are today for such a time as this.