Esther did not have an easy life. As a young girl, both of her parents died and she was raised by her older cousin, Mordecai. When she was a young woman, the king was looking for a new wife. Esther was presented to the court along with many young women for the king to choose from. These women lived at the palace with the maidens assigned to help them prepare to meet the king. After a year of preparation, the king took turns spending time with each of the women to get to know them and decide which one he liked best. Because she was incredibly beautiful, of all the women, the king chose Esther to be his wife. Even if living in a palace as a queen sounds glamorous to us, I imagine it was also extremely hard to leave behind the life she had and everything she knew and loved. Everything was different for Esther after that.
Meanwhile, at the palace there was a man named Haman who was the chief man in the king’s court. Many men bowed to him, but Esther’s cousin Mordecai would only worship God and refused to bow to Haman. This made Haman mad and he devised a way to get back at him. He made a plan to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews. Haman went to the king and told him that there was a group of people who followed their own laws and were not obeying the king’s laws. He told the king they were a nuisance and he would be happy to get rid of them for the king. The king trusted Haman and gave him permission to do as he wished.
With the king’s permission, Haman sent letters through the land proclaiming that a day had been set aside when all the Jewish men, women, and children would be killed. The Jews were devastated! They began crying and fasting and praying for God to help them. Mordecai sent a letter to Esther asking her to go to the king and ask for his help to stop the plan. The king did not know Esther was a Jew. And it was against the law for anyone, even the queen to seek out the king. They had to wait for him to summon them. If someone did go to the king’s inner court without being called, he could have them put to death, unless he held out his golden scepter allowing them to speak. Mordecai reminded Esther that she was also a Jew and that if she didn’t at least try to talk to the king she would also be killed with her people. He asked her a very important question… “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Maybe Esther being chosen by the king was not coincidence, but part of God’s plan to save His people. Esther took a chance, and the story has a happy ending! She asked the people to fast for her for three days, then she would go to the king and hope that he would spare her. When the king saw her in his court, he held out the golden scepter, saving her life, and allowing her to speak. Because Esther accepted her purpose in God’s plan and had courage to act on it, the king issued a decree that the Jews were not to be killed and Esther’s people were saved.
God’s plan for each of us may not be so big or dramatic, but we do each have a purpose here on earth. There are things He wants each of us to accomplish. Our purposes can change through life. A few years ago, my main purpose was to do my best to teach my children about God and help them learn how to create a joyful life. Now my children are gone and I feel a different purpose weighing on me. I have thought a lot about how we figure out what our purpose is and what God wants me to do. Here are some of the actions I have considered:
- Regularly spend time with God. Spend time reading His word and communicating with Him in prayer. As we do this, we open a conduit between ourselves and heaven, our hearts are softened and we are in a better position to feel inspiration from the Spirit as it comes.
- Specifically ask God what He wants you to do. Maybe it is just asking Him daily to open your eyes to opportunities to bless the lives of others. I think blessing others is a huge part of our purpose. The things He expects from us have everything to do with being His hands, feet and voice on earth.
- Create a list of gifts you have been blessed with. We have each been given talents and abilities that are unique to us. Though they often bless our lives as well, they were given to us to help others. Consider how your gifts can be a blessing to others and then act on that.
- Create a list of characteristics and concerns that have grown out of the hardships in your life. I have found that often our message grows out of our messes. My heart has been molded by the things I have experienced. I have received great strength and learned important lessons as the Lord has helped me battle through my trials. These things have created opportunities to lift and help those around me. I am more empathetic to their pain and want to make their struggles easier to handle. In this way, lifting others and helping them bear their burdens has become a big part of my sense of purpose.
Somehow, when we combine these things, we start to get a sense of who we are and what God desires from us. Feeling direction from the Spirit and a pull to help others using the personal gifts we have been given can light a fire inside us. I believe we will find many different purposes through our lives that will allow us to help others in a way that is very pleasing to the Lord, just like Esther did.
The Primary Manual for Come Follow Me is perfect for families with young children!
Click below for FREE DOWNLOADABLE coloring pages from Rising Moon Adventures that I created to go with the above lesson and the story of Nehemiah:
Primary Insights for Come Follow Me videos –
Song 1: For Such a Time as This (animated) by Shawna Edwards
Song 2: For Such a Time As This by Marty Goetz & Misha