For Such a Time as This

This post was previously published on 4/9/2009. I am sharing it to observe today's Jewish festival of Purim.

My friend, Dawn, shared with me about her experiences working an office where the boss is heavily into Scientology. This is not always easy as her values often contrast with his. He talks about the importance of being legal and ethical, yet his actions don't always follow his words. It is a delicate situation where she must abide by certain rules, yet not compromise her own values and standards.

This reminds me of the book of Esther. Growing up in the Jewish faith, I always loved this story and the holiday of Purim that we celebrated each March with many festivities. All the children dress up as a character from the story, come to the synagogue, march in a parade and eat such delicacies as "hamantashen cookies" (triangular cookies, traditionally prune-filled, based on the three sided hat of evil Haman.) Boys pretend to be King Ahashuarus (or Xerxes as the Gentiles say), Mordecai or the evil Haman. Girls would be Queen Esther... or Queen Vashti, if you wanted to be a rebel. 

One year, my mom made my sister and I the best costumes ever. We were the "Hamantashen Twins." Dressed in black leggings and turtlenecks with giant posterboard triangles sandwiched over our shoulders, we were an awesome sight to behold. We even won 1st prize - which was a pathetic coloring book that had dots of dried paint in it. If you put a paintbrush in water and touched it to the page, you could paint the picture. Well, we tried it, but without removing the page from the book. One drop of water spread, expanded the entire book and ruined it completely! So much for the grand prize! Oh, well, at least we had the glory!! Anyway, I digress - -

Esther had been chosen to be queen after the Queen Vashti was banished for disobeying the king's wicked orders. The king's advisor, Haman, hated the Jews and was plotting their destruction. Esther's beloved relative, Mordecai, advised Esther that she must approach the king and plead for her people's deliverance. When she told Mordecai that the king might kill her if she approached him uninvited, he responded "...And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" She heeded his advice, and with great wisdom and a little trickery, the nation of Israel was spared.

When we are faced with circumstances like my friend's that are contrary to our beliefs, who knows if God has placed us there "for such a time as this?"

- Perhaps we are there to shine our light in a dark place.

- Maybe God will open opportunity for honest sharing.

- Or we might be there just to pray for the people involved.

- He might ask us to speak up ("Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" Col. 4:6)

- Or He might want us to keep silent ("Even a fool, when [s]he keeps silent, is considered wise." Prov. 17:28) and make it a matter of prayer.

- If He wants us to speak up, "do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." Mt. 10:19-20

But we can be sure this one thing - that as we seek His will, He will guide us. As the world around us gets darker each day, will you be ready "for such a time as this?"


Maria said...

very nice.
I didn't know about the "Hamantashen twins" so cute!

Donna Bolster said...

Love your messages! Picture is so cute. :-)

Karen Lange said...

What cute cookies you were! Such a timely message, no matter where we are. Thanks for sharing it.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan -

Adorable pic! I've been in some tricky situations, and they're not fun. Yet, we gain the respect of others when we speak the truth in love.

Susan :)

Rhonda Schrock said...

Yea, and amen!! By God's grace, I intend to be ready. I've thought of that phrase a number of times, too. It's no accident that any of us are here, in exactly the places that He has called us with our peculiar gifts, talents, and driving passions.

Let it shine, girl!

Hugging your neck,


Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, I love this post, Susan, since my daughter's name is
Esther!!! I find that story and your applications so encouraging.

I never knew about the Jewish traditions surrounding Purim. What fun! Apart from the ruined color book...

You two look grand in your costumes!

Marja said...

Great post Susan, I have been to Purim celebrations and they can be hilarious!!! So much fun! As a child my brother and me listened to the story of esther on a recording... and we would hold our breath... we would listen over and over again!
For such a time as this... I will ask myself this more often, thank you Susan!

Cheri Bunch said...

I remember you telling me about you and your sister! I love that story! Wonderful post, Susan!
Thank you for your precious comments on my blog post today. You make me smile, inside and out!!!
Love you, sweet friend!

Jill Kemerer said...

Your mom sounds wonderful--cute costumes!

Thanks for the good advice about there being a time to speak and a time to be silent. I agree.