"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress;
he sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from destruction.”
"For such a time as this"—the phrase invokes courage and hope among believers. These six simple words are found in the biblical story of Queen Esther—a story of faith as she was called to save her nation against their enemies, when the ancient Israelites were facing extinction at the hands of the Babylonians. When all seemed hopeless, Esther was the only one in the position to help. In desperation, her cousin Mordecai challenged her with these words: “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” Having heard this, Esther was moved to put aside her fear and to trust in God and do what God called her to do.
Even though she was a queen, Esther’s life was one of hardship—tragic even. Her nation was in ruin and her people were devastated. So when she was called upon “for such a time as this,” she responded: She called on her people to pray. The journey was long and difficult, but in the end, all things worked together for the good of her country.
Today we are living in "such a time as this." We have lost more than 100,000 lives to a deadly virus that continues to ravage our country and the world. Our lives have changed in so many ways. We are sick, lonely, lost, grieving and sad. We are exhausted, and for many, the stress has brought out the worst of our humanity, as racism has once again reared its ugly head and is being answered with violence. This has led to even more pain and suffering and anger and fear.
And we can’t help but wonder, “Why, Lord?” Yet our faithful God reminds us that when we cry to him in our trouble, he saves us from our distress; that he sends out his words and heals us, and delivers us from destruction. Today, he calls us to be faithful “for such a time as this.” In the midst of today’s health and social pandemics, the faith and hope that inspired Esther can do the same for us if we look to God in prayer.
In the power of the Holy Spirit, we can all trust God as we live out our “for such a time as this” time, here and now, as we continue to pray for each other and for our nation.