Few of us face a job, with the potential for punishment or reward, at the magnitude of Queen Esther in the Bible. I can’t imagine being torn by the thought of your own immediate death sentence, if you enter the king’s presence at the wrong time, and the thought of many others dying, because you wouldn’t take the risk. She appeared to be in a lose/lose situation. And yet, she exemplifies the positive outcomes that can come if we face our own fears.
We may not serve kings, but some of us serve employers in positions comparable to that of monarchy. Putting ourselves in Esther’s story, might help us to make courageous decisions in our modern-day workplaces. Climb into my imagination with me, and let’s peek inside her mind, as she learned to face her fears.
After all, how do you know you weren’t placed in your position at work, in preparation for such a time as this?
Esther’s maid knocked on the door. “You may enter,” the queen commanded. The door swung open and an entourage of maids and eunuchs filed into the room.
“My lady, might we speak?” her chief eunuch asked.
“My queen, we bring word from your father Mordecai.” Esther stopped massaging her hands and placed the jar of myrrh on the table.
“The king has sent an edict to all his provinces. The governors are to destroy, kill, and annihilate all Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month. They will seize the possessions of the Jews as plunder. It is written – it is law. Your father sits in sackcloth and ashes. His wails of bitterness echo through the midst of the city. Your people writhe in agony. Like your father, they lay in sackcloth and ashes. The howls of grief permeate the streets in every province.”
Esther’s mood changed in an instant. Her heart slammed against her chest, and she felt fiery heat rise to her face. Her breath froze in her throat. She collapsed. When her breathing resumed it came in ragged sobs, wrenched from her gut, driven up her body, until primal sounds pierced the air. Wave after wave, the tide of breathlessness and screams ebbed and flowed.
How did this happen? What am I going to do? If the king discovers I’m a Jew he will have me killed me too. He can’t break his own law. All Jews: me, my family, my friends, the children, oh those poor babies, the children…and my father. If the king discovers he’s my father, and a Jew, I’ll be found out for sure. I’ve got to do something…wait, maybe if father gets dressed and stops acting like the rest of our clan, we can escape discovery. Maybe our lives will be spared if the king doesn’t find out who we are.
Esther pulled herself from the floor. She sniffled once, and then straightened, “Come, take these clothes to Mordecai. Tell him to remove the sackcloth and wear these garments.” She extended her arms and offered a set of nice, clean clothes. The servants accepted the garments, and hurried to do the queen’s bidding.
She hoped a fresh covering of fine garments would make a good presentation, and keep her family secret safe.
Continued tomorrow …. What would you do if you were in Esther’s position?
Anita FreshFaith @ Work
The above account is based on scriptures in Esther 4:1-4