For Such A Time As This
As we are all dealing with social distancing and the inability to gather together, I am sure we have many thoughts cross our hearts and minds. One of those might be, “Why is this happening now?” Or, “I never thought I would have to face something like this.” We could go on. Those are important questions and, I am sure, are questions that many others are asking as well. How can we as Christians think through such questions in a biblical manner? As Christians the Bible instructs us to see all of life as lived out under the providence of God. By providence, I mean God’s superintending activity whereby all world and life events are carried out according to his purposes. Now, we will get into how something as awful as the COVID-19 fits into that picture another time. Our focus right now is why are we living in this moment. The answer simply put is this: God chose to place us here for such a time as this.
That phrase, “for such a time as this”, comes from the story of Esther. In case you need a refresher course, Esther was unexpectedly thrust into the role of queen next to her equally unexpected husband King Ahasuerus. One of the king’s top advisers, Haman, hatched a plot to kill all the Jews throughout the entire empire. One of the problems was that Esther was Jewish herself. Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, was grieved over this order from the king and he reached out to Esther. He says to her in Esther 4:14, “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther’s rise to power and prestige was not just by chance. One of the key ideas that flows through this book is that of God’s providence working behind the scenes in the life of Esther. Esther is the only book in the entire Bible that does not explicitly mention God’s name. Yet, he is on every page. Esther became queen because God had purposed for her to become queen for such a time as this and to be the one who would save his people.
Our lives are similar to Esther’s in that we do not always explicitly see God’s hand of providence. Only Moses had a burning bush moment while everyone else is like Esther: we trust by faith that God is at work even when we do not see it. This is true more than ever. This time we are in more than ever requires us to trust that God is at work even when we cannot see it. We must trust that we are here in this moment of history for such a time as this. As I said this past Sunday, we are salt and light. Esther was there to be the means of salvation for her people. We are here for a specific purpose as well. What would God have you do in this season? How can you be faithful to God and neighbor for such a time as this?