Every February or March when you glance at your calendar there sits a holiday called Purim. You may be thinking, what’s Purim and how’s it celebrated? It might surprise you if I say I believe it’s applicable to you.
Purim is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the story of Esther and how she saved her people. Esther is the woman in the Bible associated with the phrase “for such a time as this.” For those of you who don’t know the story or need a gentle reminder, read on. Esther was selected amid all the fine virgins of the land to be the queen of King Xerxes after winning the crown in a beauty pageant. She was Jewish, and Jews were not liked much, so she kept her nationality a secret.
Then Haman, one of the king’s right-hand men, became furious with Esther’s cousin Mordecai because he would not bow down to him. Haman pled his case with the king and told him the Jewish people were different and would not follow the king’s laws. He asked to be given permission to annihilate them. The king agreed. Mordecai heard about the plan and communicated with Esther that she must do something to save her people, saying, “And who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?”
Esther broke royal protocol and approached the king’s inner court. She could have been put to death for doing so. But when the king saw her, he was pleased and granted her request to save her people. That’s the super abbreviated version. There’s so much more to the story, especially Esther’s involvement and Mordecai’s strategy. I encourage you to read the Book of Esther. If it were not for her bravery and for the plan of God to place her at the right place at the right time, the Jewish people would have been destroyed.
Purim is a joyous holiday that celebrates Esther’s courage, the wisdom and advice of Mordecai, and their impact on the future of the Jews. The day includes reading the scroll of Esther, wearing costumes, creating a carnival for the kids, sharing food with neighbors, giving to the poor, and making triangular, jam-filled cookies called hamantaschens. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Esther isn’t the only woman that God used “for such a time as this.” You fall in that category, too. You were formed and created for a purpose to further His kingdom, and here are times that require bravery to carry out the wishes of our Savior.
Most of us believe we aren’t anyone special, but we can’t see the wide-reaching impact our lives can produce. Your “such a time as this” may be:
- Raising your children
- Starting a nonprofit
- Taking care of your parents
- Adopting a child
- Organizing a class for single moms
- Serving at your church
Often we believe if we’re not climbing mountains, traveling the world, or working a high-level job then we can’t make a difference. Or we think we have to be someone really important—a president or queen—to do so. But we all have a sphere of influence—a circle that’s been drawn and we’re placed in the middle. How are you going to impact your circle?
My “such a time as this” doesn’t seem very holy or biblical. I serve on the board of my college sorority. We needed to expand the chapter house, so I volunteered to champion the cause. It is five hundred times the amount of work that I ever thought it would be. It’s taken over my life for three years. I’m not a missionary reaching people for Christ, but I often think how that building can be a “such a time.”
What if a young girl finds friends that she never had before?
What if a weekly Bible study begins in the chapel room?
What if a girl rooms with another pledge class sister who leads her to Christ?
What if a member is invited to church and becomes involved?
I have no idea where this might lead, but I know it took many moments of bravery to see it through to the end. Now I pray the Lord uses it for His glory.
What is your “such a time as this”? Every year when you see Purim on your calendar, ask how you could make a difference in someone’s life that week. You have a purpose. Go discover it.
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/