READ: Esther 2
THINK: God can use you – and if you’re willing to put your life in his hands, he will use you.
Let’s think about Esther’s reality for a moment. Perhaps you, like me, have heard her story a thousand times. Perhaps you remember all the highlights of what she accomplished and how God used her. But do you remember the details of who she is?
We learn in chapter 2 that Esther is an orphan. Her mother and father died and her uncle Mordecai makes her his own. We also know that she is living in Susa. Along with the rest of the Jewish people, she should have been living in the promised land that God had given them several hundred years earlier. But because of sin and disrespect for God – they were handed over to their enemies. When given a chance to go back and rebuild Jerusalem, the city God had given them, most Jews (including Mordecai and Esther) stayed behind, enjoying life in enemy country.
This doesn’t exactly look like a resume that would get you a job at being used by God to save the world. And yet – it is.
The one thing Esther had going for her was her beauty. And as we read in chapter 2 her great beauty and hidden identity win her a spot in King Xerxes harem. Don’t think luxurious spa treatments all the time and everything you want at your fingertips. Imagine the reality of your entire purpose in life as a girl to be called on by the King for his own pleasure, whenever he wanted you, to do whatever he asked. That’s Esther’s reality now. A beautiful Jew in the wrong place being made an object of the King’s lust. Why would God choose her? Why did God want her to be the one he worked through? That’s a question we might never know – but what we can learn from Esther’s story is this…
No matter where we find ourselves, or how ugly we’ve become due to our sin – God knows where we are at and wants to use us. He wants to clean us up and give us a purpose. God desires to make broken people vessels of his work! And as he uses us we begin to see that the potential for making a difference is already inside of us. For Esther, it was her beauty. As you might have noticed in verse 15, Esther ran the course of beauty treatments, but didn’t ask for anything extra – she was simply herself.
We need to learn from her example. So often we try to be like this other great Christian guy we know, or try to get involved with all the same missions as that girl who is on fire for Jesus. We try to have conversations the way that so and so does and we try to become just like the pastor whose blog we follow – instead of just being ourselves, and letting God use the unique things he put inside of us to grow his kingdom.
I’m guessing for most of us, winning a beauty pageant won’t be the thing that we will be used for by God to grow his kingdom, but I’m guessing experiences like being an older sister will. I’m guessing that God just might use your funky sense of humor to get some work done, or your uncanny ability to make people feel special. God might use your athleticism or your nerdiness to make his Kingdom come and to do his work. The main thing is, if you are surrendered to him, if you are inviting God into making you aware of things in your life that need to be changed, then just be yourself! God made us each different, because he has a lot of work to do!
So if you are finding yourself in a spot of frustration – with how you got yourself into the wrong place at the wrong time and you are all kinds of messed up – it’s time to give it up to Jesus. Don’t wallow in your mistakes, instead, give them to Jesus and allow him to take your broken confused life and do something beautiful with it! Be yourself in Christ and wait to see what God will do! He might just make it the right place at the right time for you to do something enormous!
PRAY: Jesus, help me to keep from complaining about where I’ve been, what I’ve come from or who I am. Help me to step up and use all of who I am for your kingdom and glory! Surprise me with how you use me.