Yesterday, I had the privilege to visit with a dear friend as she patiently sat by her new baby’s side in the NICU. An unexpected diagnosis had turned their “normal” birth story into a sudden and frightening experience of wires, and tubes, and beeping monitors.
I went to the NICU to encourage Suzanne, but I’m the one who walked away encouraged.
I listened carefully as Suzanne gave praise to God for their situation. She humbly shared how blessed she had been by the loving outreach of her brothers and sisters in Christ. She marveled at how God had knit together her baby and spoke excitedly of His plan for little Melvin. She spoke of her little boy’s long-term diagnosis not as a handicap, but as an opportunity for ministry and for magnifying the Lord.
How was it that Suzanne was able to glorify God in the midst of the harsh realities of sickness and syndromes? I’m firmly convinced she was able to do so because, in the normalcy of everyday life, she had already trained herself to see God in every situation and to make sure that He received the praise that was due to Him. As she walked through her many difficulties in conceiving a child, the uncomfortable realities of pregnancy, and the eager days of anticipating birth Suzanne had built strong spiritual muscles through daily time in the Word and faithful obedience to act upon all that she discovered there.
I left my time with Suzanne marveling at how God, who knew what was coming before Suzanne ever gave birth, had prepared her for just such a time of trial.
The end of Esther 4:14 says this: “Who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”
Often, I’ve heard this passage used to exhort believers to be prepared for the Big Things of Life. We’re reminded that God put us here, at this specific time… to stand firm in the darkness… to be a voice for the voiceless… to influence our society for Christ. I absolutely believe that those exhortations are true and appropriate, but Esther 4 has a powerful word for each of us in our daily spiritual life, as well.
As we dig deeply into the Word and apply its truths to our lives… God is preparing us.
As we spend time in prayer, seeking to align our hearts with His… God is preparing us.
As we memorize the Word, hiding biblical gems deep in our hearts as a weapon to combat our own personal sin… God is preparing us.
As we serve Him by serving others; turning from an inward to an outward focus… God is preparing us.
As we fellowship with like-minded and Christ-focused brothers and sisters in Christ… God is preparing us.
Yes, He’s preparing us for Big World Things, but He’s also preparing us for every “such a time as this” that we will encounter on a daily basis. He’s building our spiritual muscles, while at the same time strengthening our community of faith… a community all of us need when life’s realities are harsh and painful.
Whether our “such a time as this” is illness, or relational trauma, or unemployment, or disappointment, or even joy and abundance how we have spiritually prepared ourselves will dictate how we respond to the situation.
Our spiritual preparation will give us the fuel we need to glorify God.
Our spiritual preparation will prepare us to respond proactively; not reactively.
Our spiritual preparation will give us hope when our reality seems hopeless.
When Esther was chosen by the king to become his queen, she could never have foreseen the circumstance into which she was going to be thrust, but God knew! He knows your situation just as intimately as He knew Esther’s and He is aching to enable you to withstand your “such a time as this” in a way that brings glory to Him and spiritual good into your own life.
We never know when we’ll need to draw on our spiritual “reserve” tank. In light of that truth, are you preparing daily for “Such a Time as This?”