Every now and then opportunity knocks at the door of our soul, inviting us to leave behind our familiar stories and enter into a wild, brave, bold adventure. Possibility beckons us out of our comfort zone and offers us the fulfillment of dreams above and beyond our imagination.
The question is, will we arise and answer the call?
Now before you say, “Oh here we go, another story about Esther,” let me say I understand. Most of us have read multiple articles about this heroine of faith. But consider with me for a moment her story from another angle — trauma. Read her story in the Book of Esther.
Before she was Esther, her birth name was Hadassah. Some scholars suspect that her father was killed in war before she was born and her mother died while giving her birth. Orphaned. Raised by her cousin.
She lived among the Jewish outcasts in a city whose people rejected her based on her race. Ostracized. Lonely. A child crying at night with no mother to comfort her. How fragile she must have felt at times.
As a pastor and Freedom Coach, I’ve ministered to numerous women with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I can attest to the devastating impact survivors experience due to childhood tragedies and traumas.
Victims feel the anguish of abandonment and rejection; deep physical and emotional pain overwhelms them, lasting long into their adulthood.
Psychological disruptions, including depression and anxiety, torments them. Did Hadassah know her mother died while giving her life?
What guilt did this young girl battle with believing it was her fault? Was she angry with God, asking “Where were You, God?” Hadassah carried an immense weight upon her shoulders.
How would she ever overcome her birth trauma and certain identity loss and live successfully? Could this victim ever find victory?
Unequivocally, yes. As we read the Book of Esther — a book of the Bible in which God is never mentioned — we see God at work behind the scenes. His activity is everywhere. Ironic reversals, coincidences and divine plot twists, all working together for good. God proves that His purpose for our life stands irrevocable.
At no time does He say, “Oh, you’re too much of a mess for me to do anything with.” (Though we sometimes say it of ourselves.)
God doesn’t disqualify us from His redemption, healing, or Kingdom opportunities and promotions because we feel inadequate, weak, ill-fit, or misfitted. Instead, He shows us that He can work through our weaknesses just as much as He can work through our strengths.
Hadassah, now Esther, answered the call to “Arise,” stating, “If I perish, I perish.” In other words, I’m going for broke! I’ll risk everything in an all-out effort to fulfill God’s plan.
So, what qualities did Esther cultivate that brought her from victim to victor?
We celebrate NO. We run too hard and live lives of frenzied chaos. Our focus is scattered, we multi-task — and not very well — in ways that keep us diluted and ineffective. I get it. But sometimes the right answer is yes. Yes to a leap of faith.
When it doesn’t make sense, when it’s out of our comfort zone, when we feel inadequate and fear is nipping at our toes or gripping at our throats.
Say Yes. Yes, I will go. Yes, I will serve. Yes, I will step out, create waves, do something different, take an adventure, color outside the lines. Yes, I will live in abundance. I will dive into the deep end of the waters and swim. Yes, I will face my fears. Esther’s willing spirit said yes to the opportunity in front of her. What about you, modern-day Esther? Is God asking you to say, “yes?”
Esther, smack dab in the middle of a crisis, used her noggin to noodle out a plan. She got creative. Even though she may have felt the assignment was over her head and she didn’t possess the ability, wisdom or skill to accomplish her task, God was faithful to download all. Can you relate?
Have you said yes to opportunities only to discover that you’re way over your head? Good. Tough stuff can call out the best in you. Only through the intense challenges do dormant gifts and talents surface.
You’ll be introduced to the wealth of creativity and innovation living on the inside of you. Take the risk. Unleash your creative spirit.
Creating a plan is one thing. Fierce execution of that plan is another. Many people finesse a plan but fail to follow through. They cite reasons, rationale, and excuses for their failure to deliver. Esther’s follow-through and self-sacrificing courage compelled her to implement the strategy.
This is the kind of courage we need — to boldly engage our plan and take the necessary steps.
So, on the day that opportunity knocks and beckons you to arise, be confident. God’s continuous activity in your life has prepared you “for such a time as this.” It’s your moment to go for broke.
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