Guest post by
As part of our job, we are afforded the privilege of pointing students, parents, and volunteers to God’s Truth in Scripture. Often, when Christians are in crisis mode they want to know where in the Bible they can seek comfort. Ironically, sometimes as youth workers, we run from God’s Word when it comes to our hard moments.
The Book of Esther gives us a beautiful guideline for how to gain discernment when our own turmoil arises. Esther — who had become comfortable in the King’s Palace — now found herself in a life or death situation.
I wish the Bible came with emotional cliff notes, so we could know what these people long ago were thinking and feeling in hard situations. Was Esther thinking about running? Hiding? Lying? Regardless of how she was feeling, this is how she chose to step up in a crisis:
“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.” —Esther 4:16 (NLT)
- Esther gathered her community. When faced with a scary decision and task, this follower of God knew that she was better off with her tribe behind her. In ministry, we may not be able to gather our local community around us, but who can we rally? Maybe we can utilize the leadership at our congregation, our youth ministry network, family, or old college friends. Regardless of who it is, bring together the safe community in your life to pray over you and the situation at hand.
- Esther fasted. As ministry leaders, we teach spiritual disciplines every day, but honestly think back to the last time that you practiced this one. Fasting from food brings a renewed dependence on God, a realigned focus and usually some sort of clarity. It is beneficial to fast alone in secret, but I think that it’s cool that Esther brought her team in on the task. Her maids that were right next to her and even the Jewish people back home prioritized this struggle. For three days, Esther’s team spiritually gave it all that they had. I bet your team would, too.
- Esther did something scary. I am excellent at executing God’s plans when they are easy to understand and comfortable for me to follow. But my initial response when the Lord asks me to do something that involves faith is to do nothing. I almost pretend like I didn’t hear the tug of God on my heart. I wonder what Queen Esther did that morning before she went to the King. Did she hug her maids goodbye? Did she write a note to Mordecai in case she was killed? Following God is scary sometimes, but the risk is always worth it.
God used Esther to save an entire race of people. Even though the hardship we’re in may seem enormous, we serve a God that specializes in impossible problems. The same God that was faithful to Esther and the Jews will be faithful to you.