“How could God let this happen to me?”
If we put aside our Walt Disney, Cinderella, happily ever after mindset for just a moment and look at the situation realistically, is easy to think that this thought must have gone through Esther’s mind as she was being taken away from her family, her home, and everything she knew to become part of the king’s harem.
It was the end of everything she’d dreamed.
The end of any hope she had for true love, a home filled with children, any hope of a normal life was gone. The truth is that there’s no way this was a dream come true—it was more like a nightmare---the end to any hope she had of her life turning out happily ever after.
There had to be days when Esther cried, “How can this be happening to me? Haven’t I suffered enough? First, I became an orphan when I lost my parents, and now I’ve lost any chance of a family and a normal life because of this crazy king’s edict!”
You know that she had to be petrified of what would happen to her if the king didn’t choose her to be his queen. Even if he did, where was the security in that? Look what he did to Queen Vashti!
The truth was that God had called Esther to walk a hard road.
And it only got harder when she heard the news about the king’s newest and craziest degree.
"All Jews—young and old, including women and children—must be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated on a single day.” (Esther 3:13)
You have to wonder if once again Esther didn’t think: “How could God let this happen?”
As she received the news, Esther also received a request:
Mordecai gave Hathach a copy of the decree issued in Susa that called for the death of all Jews. He asked Hathach to show it to Esther and explain the situation to her. He also asked Hathach to direct her to go to the king to beg for mercy and plead for her people. So Hathach returned to Esther with Mordecai’s message. (Esther 4:8-9)
“Uh, excuse me???? You want me to do what??? Are you kidding? This is not a possibility! I haven’t even seen the king for 30 days and there’s a law that says I can be killed for even requesting an audience with him.”
(My paraphrase on Esther’s reply)
But Mordecai didn’t quite see things in the same light. Challenging her to be more than a Princess but rather to put on her armor and become a Princess Warrior, Mordecai sent this response:
“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)
That’s when Esther did one of the bravest things in human history: She prayed.
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”
Most people think that Esther’s bravest act was going before the king---but I believe her bravest act was once again appealing her case—putting her life and the lives of her people---into the hands of the same God Who hadn’t always answered the way He thought He should have in the past.
Think about it: Don’t you think Esther prayed that her parents wouldn’t die? That she wouldn’t be an orphan?
Even if she was too young for this prayer (and we’ll never know) she certainly had to pray that she not be chosen to be part of the king’s harem. And yet that prayer went unheard.
The truth is that if ANY WOMAN ever had reason to have “trust issues” with God, it was Esther. Up until that point, God had allowed her life to be hard.
Still this didn’t stop Esther one more time, picking herself up, accepting the challenge, and begging God to spare her life and move the king’s heart to rescue her people.
As she walked into the inner court of the palace and approached the throne, her heart must have been thumping out of her chest.
“Would God come through this time???”
This time God did.
With God’s strength Esther spoke to the king, revealed Haman’s evil plan, and rescued her people.
And that was Esther’s happily ever after---not that she necessarily got everything she wanted in life---but that God used her to rescue His people.
All of her pain, all of her heartache, all of her disappointment----everything that didn’t make sense or made it seem like God had abandoned her---were all a part of God’s plan to bring about a great deliverance for His people.
Esther’s happy ending didn’t come from being a Princess---it came from being a Princess Warrior.
Recently, God has been using her story to challenge me on my own journey.
You see, being completely open, I have to admit that there are parts of my life that have not turned out the way I wanted.
Yes, I know that God has done some amazing things---like Esther He’s opened doors of opportunity that are beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Yet, that’s only one side of the story (ironically, like Esther, it’s the side people see.)
The flip side is that my journey has been filled with pain and disappointments. There have been many times when God’s will for my life was so radically different than my own. I’ve faced disappoints, heartache, the death of dreams. There have been times I’ve asked “How could God let this happen?”
I asked this question when my college roommate committed suicide.
When God allowed me to come home from college with no husband, no job and be seen as a complete failure.
The day we found out about my Dad’s secret life and secret debt.
I asked this question when my Mom suddenly collapsed in my arms and went to Heaven.
On each step of my own journey, the temptation is always there to question God’s wisdom---to wonder if He really has a plan. When He’s called me to follow Him and take another step of faith without knowing the outcome, there’s always a part of my brain that asks, “Can I trust You?”
And yet, even knowing my trepidation, the Holy Spirit still calls over and over again, “BE BRAVE!
Trust one more time.
Believe that God has a plan to use every part of your life that doesn’t make sense to make a difference in the kingdom of God.”
It’s my call to be a Princess Warrior. To pray. To trust. To take my brave steps and watch God work wonders using our story to rescue other people.
That is my happily ever after.
And so like Esther, I choose to put one foot in front of the other and fulfill my God given purpose trusting that even if God’s plan isn’t like my plan, it is better and bigger than I could imagine.
Time and again, I’ve seen that He is trustworthy. That He has a plan. He has a purpose. If I trust, according to His plan, He will come through.
What about you?
Thoughts to ponder:
Is God asking you to trust Him with your future even if you’ve been disappointed in the past?
What’s more important to you: Your will or God’s will?
Would you rather have your dreams fulfilled or experience God’s dreams for you?
What is the biggest, bravest prayer you could pray?
Is it possible that the heartaches and heartbreaks in your life were allowed by God so that you could fulfill your purpose in His kingdom?
Is God calling you to be a Warrior Princess?