Wednesday 4th November , 2015
Women Connect ~ short posts to inspire and encourage.
As a result of the king’s decree, Esther, along with many other young women, was brought to the king’s harem at the fortress of Susa and placed in Hegai’s care. Hegai was very impressed with Esther and treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven maids specially chosen from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem. Esther 2:8-9
I’m sure I learnt a lot of things during my one and only year at bible college too many years back now to mention, but this is one statement that stuck and has stayed with me over the years.
“Christian character effects how far you go and how long you stay there”
Esther is a perfect example. Turns out it’s Esther’s character that is the star of her story not her famed beauty. Yes her outward beauty offered her the opportunity to be in the running to become Queen but it wasn’t her beauty that made the tough decisions or did the hard work – that was character.
Yes those not so popular these days qualities like self control and teachability, humility, loyalty, courage, patience, persistence, truth telling and wisdom – those things that maybe don’t make a big noise, that aren’t showy or glamourous but they’ll keep us going the distance when many have called time.
Character will serve and keep us when our emotions are ready to sell us down the river without a backwards glance. It’s what will keep us on track when criticism or offense or temptation comes and it will guide what we do when only God is looking.
Esther had a choice about how she would conduct herself. We do too. Esther had her opportunity and we have ours.
“In opportunity lies the real test of character” Dorothy Patterson
Chapter 2 tell us that Esther made an immediate impression on Hegai who was in charge of the harem. So impressed was he that she received all manner of special attention and care. It doesn’t say why he singled Esther out but with so many beautiful girls there I’m thinking it had to be more than Esther’s beauty that impressed him so greatly. A calm and quiet demeanour? humility? kindness? a calm and confidence not seen in the other girls? God’s favour?
Godliness and good character will always set us apart from the crowd. In this world it get’s noticed by it’s contrast to the usual. It points people to God more than we know. A kind reply instead of a rude one, owning up to a wrong, repaying a debt, getting the job done right when everyone else is cutting corners, taking responsibility, keeping your word, keeping quiet instead of joining into gossip, accepting a criticism, forgiving an offence.
So what we do know about Esther is that she kept her cool in a situation that called for anything but cool. On her own in a strange place, her life suddenly at odds, her future uncertain, a girl interrupted – enough to bring out the wild eyed and nasty side of any one of us. Oh she could have made one heck of a fuss, she could have kicked and screamed and really let fly or dug in her heels and refused to cooperate. She could have got all resentful and bitter too and who would blame her but – – – she would have spent the rest of her days languishing in obscurity. Queen Vashti found that one out the hard way.
Instead – – – she changed history.
We may not be changing world history but we can change our history, we can keep our cool and rise to the challenges that come our way. The ones that like it or not call for tough decisions and doing hard things. The ones that call on us to dig deep, pray long, trust much and hold fast to the One who hold us fast. We can take our rest and comfort in Christ, our Mordecai who stays near and watches out. And because, deep down, (we) are able to trust God. I pray you are able to know He loves you too much to ever abandon you in any situation. Not then, not now, not ever. Susie Davis
Much love to you today
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