I love being inspired by other people. There are women all over the world who have accomplished some absolutely incredible things with their lives and I pray that God enables me to be one of them one day. While many of us may look towards our favourite role models and focus on the gravity of what they’ve managed to achieve during their lifetimes, it’s vital that we don’t forget the journey.
One important person in the Bible who embodies this is Esther. Esther was a young orphan living in a place called Susa, a city which was part of the Persian Empire. Esther’s cousin Mordecai had adopted her and it was known that she was a woman of great beauty.`
I feel that her life would have been a pretty ordinary one. She probably enjoyed hanging out with friends and learning about the world around her and experiencing the little pleasures of life like many of us do. However, following King Xerxes’s X-Factor style search for a brand-new wife, Esther was suddenly plucked from her familiar surroundings and placed in the king’s palace where she underwent a whole year’s worth of physical preparation before she ever set eyes on him!
When Esther’s turn finally came to face King Xerxes, the Bible says that he favoured her more than any other woman, and she was made Queen! In her royal position and with the help of Mordecai, she was eventually able to uncover a vicious plot dreamt up by the king’s right-hand man Haman. This led to the Jewish people living in Xerxes’s kingdom being saved.
It’s a remarkable story and tells of a selfless young woman full of boldness, confidence and a deep love for her people.
However, her journey was far from easy. Esther spent an extended amount of time in a foreign environment away from her family. She wasn’t allowed to reveal her Jewish identity to anyone as Mordecai had warned her that it could place both her and her people in great danger. I wouldn’t be surprised if Esther was constantly worrying that she would accidentally let that information slip out!
After discovering Haman’s intentions, Esther decided to go to the king without being summoned in order to unveil his friend’s wicked plans. It was known that anyone who approached the king uninvited would be put to death unless he extended his royal sceptre. Her courage ultimately led to the Jewish people being saved and Haman being put to death.
Esther faced numerous challenges during this period in her life. She would have been afraid; she probably felt helpless and I’m sure she would have questioned how on Earth she would be able to stand up to such a horrible man. But during this time, God brought about some significant changes in her character. She grew in courage, faith and wisdom and stood up for what it was she believed in, regardless of the consequences.
Like Esther, God takes each of us through intense periods of preparation. Yes, we can feel like we’ve been pushed way out of our comfort zones and there may even be times when we’re tempted to quit altogether. I’ve most definitely been there! But you have to remember that it all feeds into a greater divine purpose.
Nobody enjoys going through tough times, but through life’s trials, God is able to prepare you for all the amazing things He has in store.