In March of 2009, my husband Peter and I received phone calls from two different friends, who were each telling us about “a seven-month-old baby boy coming up for adoption.” This baby was first entering the foster care system, and if we decided to bring him into our family, it would be as foster parents—with no guarantee of how the story would unfold. This news came on the heels of years of pain—infertility, miscarriages, and several disrupted adoptions. Our hearts were raw. But it was a defining moment in our lives, and we asked God for wisdom. Should we step out in faith?
In today’s passage, Esther faced a defining moment of her own. When she heard of Haman’s plot and Mordecai’s request for her to go to the king, her immediate response was fear. She told him that everyone knew that a person approaching the king unsummoned risked being put to death (v. 11). Esther hadn’t seen the king in 30 days. After five years of marriage, his interest in her had no doubt waned. Mordecai responded to Esther’s fear with the best-known verse in the book. He tells her that she isn’t even safe in the palace, and if she did not act, salvation would come from somewhere else. He ends with a pointed question: “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (v. 14).
Would Esther align with God’s people, standing up for their safety and risking her own death? Or would she go with the flow, living under the radar? Either way, as Mordecai warned, she would face great risk. And once again we are reminded of God’s sovereignty, that He had placed Esther in the palace “for such a time as this” (v. 14).
>> Sometimes we recognize “defining moments” when we are experiencing them. Other times we only recognize them as such when we look back and see how God’s hand was at work. Reflect today on some of the key “defining moments” in your life. How did God work through them?