Esther braided her own hair, as she did every morning. “Will we ever go to Judah and join our own people?”
A tear rolled down Mordecai’s cheek. “If your mother had been much younger you likely would have been born there.”
Esther spun around to face her elder cousin. “Please tell me about my parents! I don’t want to forget anything about them.”
Mordecai wiped his eyes dry with his cuff. “Your father was always wise beyond his years. He loved his family so well. Your mother was so beautiful. You’re looking like her more each day. She was so devoted to your father, and her children.”
Esther returned to braiding her hair. “Why didn’t they return to Judah with my brothers and sisters?”
Mordecai looked up. “Your parents thought they were done having any more children. Six seemed like a good number to fill their quiver with. But, God had a surprise for them when they discovered you were to add to their number to make it the number of perfection. When the call to return came your mother didn’t think she’d survive the journey at her age while carrying you.
“The decision to send your siblings was very hard on them. The married ones knew they’d go. The others were old enough to be betrothed, so arraignments were made to set up their families to ensure they were cared for.”
Esther finished her braid and looked at her silent cousin. He was staring at a spot on the floor, but, she knew that’s not what he was seeing. “Why didn’t you return with the others?”
His gaze slowly rose to meet her eyes. “I was but a boy when we were taken to Babylon. I’ll never forget the time I stole away and ran beside the Temple in Jerusalem. I stopped and looked straight up the wall. It seemed to touch the sky. I remember thinking that our God couldn’t possibly fit in a building, not even one that big. I don’t think I could survive seeing Jerusalem without the Temple. Besides, something inside me knew your parents would need help. Our destinies don’t always follow our dreams.”
Mordecai sat up straight. “And what do you think your destiny will be, young lady?”
Esther took her two braids and circled them on her head mocking a crown. “I shall be the queen of Persia. Everyone will know that one of God’s chosen is the fairest of them all.”
Mordecai’s laugh shook into Esther’s bones. “You definitely have your father’s wit. Combined with your mother’s looks you’d make the best queen ever. Long live Queen Esther.”
Their laughter was cut short by a pounding on the door. “By order of King Xerxes you are all to come stand before us.”
Mordecai took Esther’s hand as they walked out the door.
A well-dressed man stood between two soldiers. “Are there any others inside?”
Mordecai shook his head. “No, it’s just the two of us.”
The messenger looked closely at Esther. “Are you still a virgin?”
Mordecai stepped forward. “What’s this all about?”
A soldier pointed his spear at Mordecai’s chest.
The messenger never took his eyes off Esther. “By edict of the king we’re taking all the virgins of the land to Susa to allow King Xerxes to choose Queen Vashti’s replacement. I think we may have just found our winner. Don’t worry, she’ll be very well cared for.”
Mordecai stepped back and looked at the messenger. “May I have a private moment with the girl before you take her away?”
The messenger stared at Mordecai. “We’ll take her with, or without, your approval. There’s no sense in trying to escape.”
Mordecai shook his head. “She’ll go with you. I just want a chance to say good-bye.”
“Very well, I’ll give you one minute. Nothing more.”
After the door closed behind them Esther started to cry. “I don’t really want to be the queen. I was just joking. I just want to go to Judah and live a normal life.”
Mordecai hugged her tightly. “God doesn’t ask us what we want to do with our life. You may very well be destined to be the queen. Remember He is always with His people. You are always His daughter. Serve Him proudly.”
He released his hug and placed his hands on her shoulders to look into her eyes. “Don’t tell anyone you’re a Jew. We have enemies who want to see us dead. You’ll make a great queen.”
The door flew open, a soldier grabbed her arm and pulled her away.
Mordecai watched her walk away. “Look for me.” He yelled. “I won’t be far away…long live Queen Esther!”
Has your life stayed on the course you had mapped out for it?
I hope not. I know mine isn’t going according to any plans I had for it. No, in many ways it’s far better than I could ever have dreamed up.
You’re currently reading one of God’s biggest surprises for my life. All because of a prayer I prayed for God to break me and use me as He saw fit.
There are some things that are better than I could have imagined. Others are things I’d rather not be going through at any time in my life.
Are you willing to give control of your life over to God?
Yeah, it’s scary, but rewarding. No, it ain’t easy. It’s challenging. You’ll likely be asked to go out of your comfort zones in order to do the seemingly impossible for the King. Esther had to step out of her comfort zone to save her people from genocide.
God thinks you’re up to the challenge. Otherwise He wouldn’t have chosen you as one of His children. You’ll forever be changed by the task before you.
God will equip you for what He has planned for you. Just make sure its His kingdom you’re building, not yours.
Give your life completely to God. See how many lives He’ll change with you.
I’ll see you later. Wade