When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish. Esther 4:16
Esther decided to approach the king uninvited once the people had fasted. Surely, if everyone was serious about this and determined that Esther’s intervention was the right course of action, then she would move forward.
Her words can be taken in several different ways. Some take “if I perish, I perish” to mean that Esther was resigned to face her fate. She and her people were backed into a corner, so she really didn’t have any other choice. This is sort of the Doris Day version of the story, “Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours, to see…” (Wow, that’s a throwback. I don’t even know how I knew that song. It’s not on my iPod…). Life just happens. It’s fate or dumb luck or whatever. It doesn’t sound like there’s much that we can do about it.
But, Esther’s tone here is not resignation. Esther is showing great courage. She is willing to lay down her life, if necessary, for the sake of her people. There is no greater love than this (John 15:13).
There was no easy solution to this situation. Esther couldn’t just waltz into the throne room and give the king a piece of her mind, considering the fate of the last queen who mouthed off. An uninvited appearance could result in death. Her silence would also result in death. The crucible of her situation forged courage that she might have lacked otherwise.
To use an overused quote, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Esther didn’t have much choice, except the choice to take action rather than passively submit to fate.
When circumstances are stacked against us, it’s easy to feel like just giving up. The temptation is just to walk away, to escape. But, the path of least resistance makes both men and rivers crooked. God did not place us on this earth merely to let life happen to us. God put us here to make a difference, to build our character, and to glorify Him. Cowardice doesn’t glorify God. Courage wrought by faith does.
What corner do you find yourself backed into today? What overwhelming circumstance are you tempted just to give in to? What is making you entertain the idea of running away or cashing it in? It’s time to take courage and do something about the situation. Giving up may mean giving the outcome over to God, and fully submitting to His will.
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