Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” ~ Esther 4:13-14 (NLT)
I used the book of Esther in a previous blog post, but in case you didn’t read it yet, I’ll give you a little bit of background information.
Queen Vashti was a beautiful woman, and her husband, King Xerxes, was quite proud that she was his wife. When Queen Vashti refused to parade around in front of the king’s friends, so that he could show her off, King Xerxes banished her from his presence forever.
A search was made throughout the entire Persian Empire for beautiful young virgins to be added to the royal harem, and Esther, who was Jewish, was among the young women chosen. After a year of beauty treatments and healthy eating, each of the girls was brought before King Xerxes so that he could choose a new queen. Esther pleased the king more than any of the others, so she was chosen to take the place of Queen Vashti, and she kept her Jewish heritage a secret.
Sometime later, when Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, found out about a plot to kill all the Jews, he sent word to Esther that he needed her help. Mordecai asked Esther to go before the king and plead for her people. Esther was afraid, because to go before the king without being summoned could get her killed. In spite of her fear, Esther went to see King Xerxes and was invited to plead her case. A new decree was issued and the Jews in the Empire were saved. There is so much more to this story, but you will need to read it for yourself.
God was able to use Esther to save the Jewish people in the Persian Empire because she was both available and willing to heed His call. Was she placed in that particular circumstance so that God could use her, or did God just call her to do something in the place she happened to be? I believe God can and does do both.
I think there are times God does lead people to a particular time and place for a special purpose. For Esther, that place was in the palace. Some people are called to the mission field; some are called to speak or sing on big stages. Some are called into a particular career choice or geographic location. God does seem to call some people to do pretty big things. The Bible teaches us that God can use anyone He chooses who is willing to say yes to His call.
Sometimes the call to be in the right place, at the right time may be much closer to home and more ordinary. You might feel a nudge to go visit someone and find out they really needed you to be there. You might decide to go into a store you hadn’t planned to visit, and find yourself in line with someone who needed to hear a word of encouragement, or maybe even help paying their bill. You might feel the urge to drive a different route, and find someone who is having car trouble and needs assistance. I believe those little urges to change your plans are often directed by God.
You don’t have to be in church ministry to follow God’s call, and you don’t have to go someplace else to do His work. God can use you at home, at work, in the grocery store, at the salon, at the gym, or wherever we are. He can use anyone, anywhere. If you are living your life as a follower of Christ and are open to the leadings of God, then I believe you will always be in the right place, at the right time to do His will.