For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)
My heart was beating so hard I could hear the thumps in my ears, while my breath hitched as I eased myself over the railing onto a small red platform. All I could look at is my white knuckles gripping the ledge as the instructor was mere inches from my face but on the safe side of the bridge. I could hardly breathe and even more so, I could hardly believe I was about to do this. In the mix of my thoughts, my heart beat and my heavy breathing I hear in the background, “3, 2, 1, BUNGEE!!” I leapt.
But before the excitement of an actual jump, the team of instructors provided a few lessons and how-to’s of bungee jumping: “You have to jump after the first count down. The longer you stand on that platform, the more difficult it will be to jump at all—and well, you already paid.”
This was a lesson on hesitation. The decision is made to wake up at 4 a.m., pay the fee, hike six miles to the bridge and climb over the ledge. The decision to go bungee jumping was already processed. Now, it was only a matter of doing it.
We hesitate all the time, whether it is standing on a platform ready to bungee jump or acting on a call that God has put on our hearts. Fear and anxiety over take us resulting in delay. Stories within the Bible prompt us to act without hesitation when God urges us to do something.
This brings us to the story of Esther.
The story of Esther is not one that is commonly told. Not many people see the power and purpose within the story, or just dismiss the story all together because it is about a courageous queen. The book of Esther is short, and a pretty simple read. However, the passage that is the focus (4:1-7) is taking place during a game of telephone between Mordecai and Esther. At this point in the story, Esther is married to the king and an evil man named Haman has issued a decree to kill all of the Jewish people. Both Mordecai and Esther were Jewish, and both had their lives- and the lives of their loved- ones at stake.
Esther was put in a position that was one of risk and most likely fear. Esther needed to approach the king, but doing so without being summoned was risky and could result in her death. It was something that she felt needed to be done. A little hesitation on Esther’s part is more than understandable; it is something that we would all do.
There was fear and the possibility of death, but her convictions pushed her to take a leap of faith in approaching the king asking him to revoke Haman’s decree of the killing of the Jews.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
(1 John 4:18)
Esther’s boldness to take the leap of faith when it came to approaching the king proved to be successful when he revoked the order of Haman. She made a decision and combated her fear and hesitation to do what she knew was right.
May we all be fearless for Christ; may we be voices for the voiceless and set our sights on what is good and everything God is doing. Let us all take a leap of faith and resist reluctance for what God is calling us to do to serve his Kingdom.
And now may the courage of early morning’s dawning, And the strength of eternal hills at noontime, And the peace of open spaces at evening’s ending, And the love of God abide in your hearts now and forever.
– Harry K. Zeller