SHE HEARD is the first for-purchase devotional published by Deliberate Women. Over the past eight weeks, we have been reading reflections written by our readers of the eight Biblical women featured in SHE HEARD. Up today: ESTHER
There it was. I could see it hiding underneath the couch. From my laid out position on the living room floor, I stretched my arm as far as it would fit wedged beneath the couch’s frame, but either it was too far or my arm was too thick. (We’ll go with the first.) The screaming child behind me seemed to raise every hair on the back of my neck as I tried again. Still no use. The binky had been kicked too far this time. So while my daughter continued her wailing, I went in search of a broom handle. With every sweep, what should have come closer, was hidden farther from view. The tired little frame creating the ruckus continued to raise my blood pressure and make time of the essence. Yet, with every frantic swipe, the motion was more careless than the last. Why is this the only binky we can locate, again?!
Do you ever feel like you’re insignificant? Like your day-to-day means nothing in the grand scheme of life? When I look at pictures of the earth from space and try to imagine myself a mere speck on that globe somewhere, let’s just say I’m not encouraged. I wonder if that’s how Esther felt. Not only was she a woman in Bible times, when women were considered property, but she was also an orphan, being raised by her male cousin.
Though there is no mention of God on the pages of Esther’s story, His workings are evident. Here we have a girl, who most of society probably considered not worth mentioning. Yet, whose talents and bravery would one day save an entire nation. She probably walked those streets and scuffed up her already-worn sandals with the same dirt those around her would one day kneel in as they called her their queen. People who wouldn’t even glance her way while she wore her rags, would one day call her majesty in the finest of robes.
Oh, Esther. Ripped from her home without an ear to even listen to her opinion. There she was in this strange new environment; a sea of beautiful women all fighting for their one chance at the crown. Comparison is prevalent today. I can’t imagine the ugly face it must have adopted in a setting like this. Here’s our Esther, one face in a kingdom full of women all deemed the same in the only aspect they were considered of worth. I don’t know about you, but I’d have felt pretty insignificant right about then. And maybe she did. Maybe, she was terrified of what her life would become. Maybe she felt wronged in every way possible. And quite honestly, I would agree with that statement. Yet we know from history’s perspective, she was never more perfectly placed. God’s perfect timing and orchestration of events shone through every bend in the road of Esther’s life.
I’ve always wondered if Esther could see God’s pen writing her story as the pieces fell into place. Did she recognize God’s hand at work? Or maybe, in the moment, she was all too much like us: Human. See, our perspective is so limited. We can only see the here and now, not the future in the making. Yet all the while, it’s today that prepares us for all our tomorrows. Like Esther, maybe we see the dirt covered streets and the people walking past us without notice. Maybe all we see is a sea of beauty and feel we don’t measure up against it. Insignificance sets in like a plague gripping our very worth to its core until our day-to-day starts to feel more mundane than meaningful.
I don’t know about you, but more often than not, I miss God’s subtle movements; the aligning of the pieces; the orchestrating of events. I get so focused on my daily dealings, on being busy, that I don’t realize the magnitude of the moments in which I’m living. Today is certainly preparing us for tomorrow, but the fact remains: Today is given, tomorrow’s not promised. If we will seek the God of Esther, Who positions people, times and places, and ask for His sight in the midst of today, we’ll catch glimpses of the work He’s doing, right here, right now. One day when we look back over these days, we’ll see how they aligned so Divinely to shape us into the women we needed to be for that time and that place. And if we’re willing to hold His hand wherever He leads, even in the uncomfortable, you and I could be the Esther of our day. Our God-given talents, skills and gifts could change history. We have a higher calling.
I don’t know what life has handed you lately. Maybe it’s been pretty rough territory. This past year a number of circumstances have sent me on this emotional roller coaster. It’s as if I’ve been backed against a ledge with my heels barely gripping the rough surface as I frantically swing my arms in an attempt not to fall over the embankment. The pebbles beneath my feet are one-by-one losing the battle and tumbling over the edge threatening to take me with them.
Yet, you and I have never been more perfectly placed. Sure, things may seem like they are spiraling out of control. Yet, for such a time as this, we’ve been called; placed. Maybe these days are the preparation phase for whatever is coming next, or just maybe it’s your turn to see the king. Whatever it is, wherever you are, God is in it. He hasn’t left you for a moment. Are you willing to stand up? Are you willing to take the leap? Instead of slipping on the cliff’s edge avoiding a fall, maybe you and I need to take a leap of faith. Maybe it’s time we turn and jump head first into the calling we’ve been handed. No matter where the emotional roller coaster winds in the process.
Most days I find myself crawling around the floor wiping up splattered milk from a thrown sippy cup. I sweep up enough crumbs that reassembled could feed a small animal for a week. And I’m a master at disassembling a child’s car seat cover to be scrubbed. (It’s the reassembly that always gets me.) At least twice a week, my husband comes home to find at least one body throwing a fit on the floor - and it’s not always the children. Sometimes, insignificance slashes right to the heart of this woman. Yet, even when my hair is more greasy than the meat I’m draining, my arm won’t fit beneath the couch and the child I treasure so dearly won’t stop her incessant wailing, insignificance couldn’t be further from the truth. These are just the pieces He’s lined up. He’s equipped me for this. Right here, right now. And in this, He’s equipping me for what lies ahead. The background noise may be decibels louder, but if I’m purposeful, I’ll hear it. So will you.
Close your eyes; just listen.
There! There, the echo of that still small Voice. Can you hear it bouncing off the ridges? It’s your name. He’s calling you, dear one by name. Just stop resisting.
Will you trust enough to take the leap?
Will you answer?
Jamie Joy is a pajama-wearin’ stay-at-home mama, wife of the only man she ever dated and a closet writer at the nap time hour. The days of dirty diapers, developing attitudes and wet kisses aren’t always peachy, but she’s on a mission: To perceive everyday life as beautiful, and chase after the adventures that write the story. She’s giving herself permission to laugh at the unpredictable, pursue authenticity in a world that endorses the counterfeit and to enjoy the chaos that make up life’s everyday adventures. She’s giving you that same permission. Check out the stories she’s chalking up to “adventure” these days at Life's Everyday Adventures. Also find her on Facebook.