Fit for a Queen

The story of Esther captivates me. No matter how many times I read it, my heart leaps with excitement and joy. It seems to be the type of story I would read in a novel or see played out as a Hollywood movie, yet there is nothing fictional about it. I believe God has woven the story of Esther into every woman’s life to remind us that we walk in His mercy and grace, and should do so boldly.

By most social standards, there was nothing remarkable about Esther. She was orphaned at a young age, raised by a Jew named Mordecai, and caught up in a powerful king’s search for a queen. Despite being “average” or “ordinary,” she found favor in the sight of King Xerxes and soon became Queen Esther. Yet, even being a queen would pale in comparison to the role she was about to play in God’s redemptive plan for His people.

One day Mordecai approached Esther with detrimental news. He informed her that Haman—a wicked man put in charge by King Xerxes—had ordered all Jews to be destroyed. Up until that moment, Esther had hidden her Jewish heritage from the king. Afraid and uncertain, she nevertheless heeded the wise words of Mordecai: “…Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14 NIV).

Although it was not customary for the queen to go before the king unless she was called, Esther knew she was the only hope for God’s people. She rose up with boldness and went before the king with her petitions. She told him in the presence of Haman that there was a demand for the lives of her people to be destroyed. The king soon had Haman hanged and counteracted his evil scheme by signing a decree that empowered the Jews to resist and destroy their enemies, and live in peace.

Because the move could have cost Esther her own life, the fear of an adverse outcome no doubt screamed for her to be silent. Yet, her faith stirred and reminded her she was not alone. As Psalms 5:12 says: “You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield” (NKJV). God’s grace covered and shielded Esther from the dangers that lay in her path.

His grace works the same way when you walk forward in your calling. Perhaps you have not been at a crossroad that could have cost you your life or saved a nation of people; but you’ve likely been in a place that has challenged your own strength. Perhaps feelings of inadequacy or mediocrity have left you questioning why God would ever choose you. The Bible says that His grace is perfected in your weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). Just as God’s plan to redeem His people was perfected in an ordinary, orphaned girl who simply took a bold step in faith, whatever God has purposed for you must be done in His strength not yours.

God’s grace is necessary for us to thrive and flourish in a world that constantly tries to apply harsh labels and stigmas, and seeks to conform us to its standards. However, the more we trust in His grace, the more we walk confidently in all He is calling us to do. We need His grace not just for the “Esther” moments, but for the everyday moments. In fact, I believe it is the day-to-day tasks that demand the most grace at times: being a mother and wife; showing love to unfriendly coworkers; bringing peace into our homes when chaos tries to take over; teaching our children to love, forgive, and learn to trust in God when life doesn’t make sense.

In the moments when I feel as though I am going to collapse under the pressure, I remember that God’s grace is already surrounding me and protecting me from falling apart. I find security beneath His shield. He not only shields me with His grace, but covers me with His mercy. Lamentations 3:22-23 says: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (ESV).

The nation of Israel was far from perfect. Time and time again they turned from God and tried to do things their own way. Yet God, in His infinite love and mercy, saved them from a terrible fate. Like the nation of Israel, we are far from perfect. Being Christians does not make us exempt from failure or falling from our place of grace.

I am so thankful that I can wake up every day and embrace the new mercies of God. His mercy draws me back to Him when I make a mistake and feel ashamed. When God nudges me to take a bold step of faith, like Esther, and I feel unworthy, His mercy rests on me and reminds me of His love.

Like Esther, you were created for such a time as this—a time when the world desperately needs to know about the redemptive power of Christ. Esther rose up from the obscurity of an orphan to become a queen, not just in an earthly kingdom, but in God’s kingdom as well. Esther knew the Lord’s grace shielded her and went before her.

In the same way that she went before the throne of King Xerxes and found favor with him, you can go before the throne of Christ with confidence, knowing you will never leave the same way you came. He will remove any rags of shame, worthlessness, despair, and hopelessness, and clothe you with garments of mercy and grace that will empower you, sustain you, and shield you from the threat of the enemy. He uniquely designed those garments for you, in this moment, in this time.

They are garments fit for a queen.

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