Such a Time as This...
By Thom Mollohan
As we turn the television news off or lay our newspaper aside, and lest we despair upon hearing or reading of the horrors characterizing our world today, let us pause and consider the great opportunity we are being given. How profound is the thought that you and I have been born for just "such a time as this!" Though we may initially be tempted to lament the chaos of our day and age, crying out over the moral confusion and fears that sit on the eaves of our lives like frightful gargoyles casting their shadows on our paths, letís remember the Great Plan which encircles us and the Great Planner Who has chosen us for "such a time as this."
"Such a time as this?" Yes! Like young, unassuming Esther in the Bible, picked from a simple, unassuming life as a contented "nobody", yet chosen out of all the rest of the young women to be queen, we may wonder why we are where we are in life. Faced with the extermination of her people, she reads the situation rightly and, as her cousin Mordecai explains, comes to understand her destiny: that she has been made queen "for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14 NIV).
A destiny has been appointed for her in spite of her background, her limitations, and her fears. Instead of running from it, she embraces it. In fact, knowing that standing up for what is right may grant her a death sentence, her resolve is hardened to the point that she does not look at what may happen to her if she does what is right, but what will happen to her people if she does not. She sends word to her cousin, "Ö I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." (Esther 4:16 NIV)
We have forgotten what heroes look like and grasp, instead, for phantoms, phonies and fakes who make big promises but have never learned that true heroism always begins with integrity in the heart and in the home. When one learns integrity and courage in the "small things" of life, he or she wonít be blown over by temptation, pride, anger and selfish ambition in the town square. He or she can "flesh out" true heroism because it is grounded in who they really are and is not just a show.
I am glad to say that Iíve known heroes. These brave men and women stood for righteousness though it cost them dearly. Such men and women courageously acknowledged their own weaknesses but then sought to grow beyond them or at the least to not be defeated by them.
Though I have known and still do know heroes today, I am convinced that most are yet hidden away in the crowds, still unknown and still unmoved. I am further convinced that God may be stirring, even now, more men and women in our communities who will stand up, embrace their destiny, and face evil fully in the face. There are some who I believe will not be chained by fear for their own safety and well-being, but, driven by the knowledge that they have been appointed for just "such a time as this" by God, will lead the way for His righteousness to prevail.
....O solemn town, why your gloom? Why wear your mask of night?
........We looked for a hero, friend; we looked with all our might.
....To our dismay, there is none whoíll play the man and stand.
........Heroes have all gone away; none now defend our land.
Let the words of this lament ring untrue as more men and women allow God to make His plans, purposes, and presence known through them. May His hand even move in you in such a way that you become a hero in whatever station He calls you. May you realize that, like Esther, your background, limitations, and fears have no power over you if youíll trust God and allow Him to use you. May you realize that you can be a hero, too, appointed by God for "such a time as this."
Thom Mollohan is a pastor and the author of the Hunger For More weekly religion column published by the Ohio Valley Publishing Company. He lives with his wife and four children in Gallipolis, Ohio, USA. You may contact Thom through the Letters page of this magazine.
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