Esther 4:14- “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Every year on our anniversary Christi and I have a variation of the same conversation reflecting on life, where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. It’s not something we plan, but I think it happens because our anniversary is less than two weeks after my birthday, and I’ve entered into that period of mid-life where every year that passes is another opportunity for me to analyze and question all of my life-choices.
The three parts of this annual anniversary conversation progress in difficulty. Talking about where we’ve been is easy, it has already happened, and we can recount the memories, laugh at the mistakes, and remember not to take ourselves too seriously. Talking about where we are at in the current moment is a bit more of a challenge. There are the objective realities that we can identify: the house we live in, the jobs we have, the organizations we’re involved with, the age of our children, and so on. However, there is also the philosophical task of interpreting all of those things. “Why did life line up this way instead of that way?” “What are we supposed to do with these responsibilities?” “How do we enjoy this season of life more?” These are the questions that fuel the majority of our annual conversation. And of course, that all leads to the question of “where are we going?”
My guess is that there are times where you are unsure how you got to where you are, and times you definitely don’t know where you are going. No matter how wise or hard-working we consider ourselves to be, much of our life and our current circumstances can remain a mystery to us. We know that somethingwe’ve done has contributed to our situation, we just don’t know which part or to what degree. We’re left to wonder not only why we are where we are, for what purpose, and what our future might hold.
Queen Esther faced a similar dilemma, as told in the Biblical book of Esther. She has been chosen by the King to be his Queen, partially because of her great beauty. But there is more to Esther than beauty: she is wise, she is loyal, she is empathetic, and she is also Jewish (a fact that becomes astonishingly important when an enemy of the Jews comes forward and tricks the king into issuing a decree that the Jews all be killed, and their goods stolen). Esther likely wondered how she had gotten to such a privileged position, now she likely wondered what the future would hold, and that’s when she got that encouraging word from her friend Mordecai. He asked her, “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
The implication is, you don’t know, but God does. The application is, be faithful, and stay the course.
When you come to that place where you wonder why you are where you are and where you might be headed, you can have the same type of confidence as Mordecai. If God has been faithful this far, surely, he will continue to be moving forward.