Do you think that you have purpose? Do you truly believe that God can use you? Do you trust that you have been put where you are in a specific placement for a specific time?
Or do you see yourself as just average, with little impact, and seemingly no plan?
I think that when we jump back into something new, whether it be the school year or a new job, or insert your own situation, it is so easy for comparison to worm its way into our minds. Questions like the ones above, infiltrate our thoughts.
At a school with over 14,000 students, you see every outfit combination imaginable. Enter me, who grew up only wearing a uniform, and trying to piece together an outfit suitable for the daily fashion show parading across campus is enough to send me into a tizzy.
Do I look good enough? Do I look like I am trying too hard? Does it match or do I look stupid? Will people think that I am “cool”?
It amazes me how quickly I become self-absorbed and obsessive about how my looks are perceived when my primary objective should be radiating Christ, glorifying God with what I say and do and living a life of love and service.
How much more could we accomplish if we saw our specific placement and time as an opportunity to serve the Lord?
Esther 4:14 is one of the most well known Bible verses regarding specific placement and time:
“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Esther was just an ordinary girl. She was a Jewish orphan, cared for by her Uncle Mordecai. She had very little privilege in society and surviving in the Persian empire was the greatest concern. When the Persian king, King Ahasuerus, was in search of a new queen, Esther was selected to be presented before him. Her beauty and poise gave Esther favor with the King and she found herself in the position of Queen.
It was a dangerous time to be living as a Jew in the Persian Empire. Racism was rampant and there was little tolerance for people of different cultures. Haman, the king’s right hand man, took advantage of his specific time and placement to bring harm to the people of Israel. When Mordecai, Esther’s Uncle, knew of Haman’s evil plans, he approached her saying that maybe she, as a Jew, could leverage her position as Queen, to save the Israelites.
Esther boldly approached the King, an act that could sentence her to death. However, she found favor with the King, and after hosting two dinner gatherings for him and Haman, was able to stand up for her faith and her people. Haman is sentenced to death and the people of Israel are saved.
Of any girl in history, Esther had every right to doubt her worth, her value, and her ability to be used by God. Her status as an orphaned Jewish girl left her unpopular and unwanted. Insecure thoughts and doubts could have crippled Esther’s ability to lead and serve.
Esther was courageous in the face of danger and bold in times of uncertainty. Her thoughts were not self focused, but rather on her heavenly Father. In suffering, she chose to use her specific time and specific placement to defend her people.
She was not concerned about her appearance or the perceptions of others. In fact, it was the complete opposite. She was willing to put her life on the line, a calling that Believers are well acquainted with.
1 Peter 4:12-13 says,
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed.”
We know that we will face hardships as followers of Christ. Salvation does not promise us a happy-go-lucky life. However, we are still called to press on and serve. Mark 10:45 tells us that Jesus came not to be served, but to serve others. As the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus knew that better than anyone. And yet, we have the promise of eternal life and great joy when that day comes.
And so as you walk through your week, I challenge you to replace the questions of doubt, the influx of insecurities, and the self-absorbed sentiments, with the phrase…