Time; past, present, and future, what is its significance? Does it matter? Where and how do we fit into time?
I love history! There I said it. Go ahead; call me a geek or a nerd. I own it. I love history! What we learn from the past can impact our present and our future.
One of my historical heroes is Abraham Lincoln. He has been ever since I was in grade school. That is why in 2012 when I heard that Steven Spielberg was making a film titled Lincoln I couldn’t wait to see it.
It did not disappoint me. I rarely watch movies more than once, but I have seen Lincoln twice and no doubt will watch it again. The film is not a biography of the sixteenth president, but rather a glimpse into a few months at the start of his second term as President in the final days of the Civil War.
In particular, it is about the passing of the 13th amendment. To him, this is not just a political issue, but a moral obligation to do the right thing for the millions of people who will be touched by whether this amendment passes. Lincoln knew that this was a moment of history that if not seized, would pass forever.
I have always felt that Lincoln was a man of destiny and I think the movie beautifully portrays this as something that he also sensed. In one scene He wonders why he was chosen to lead the nation through its darkest hour. “Do you think we choose to be born?” he asks one of his aides. “or are we fitted to the times we’re born into?” When I heard this, I immediately thought of another of my heroes, Esther.
Esther, a Jewish orphan, is deported to the city of Susa following the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem. Her cousin Mordecai raises her(Esther 2:7). Through a series of events (read Esther 1-3) Esther becomes King Xerxes queen.
When her cousin Mordecai learns of a plot to kill all the Jews, he tells Esther that she must intercede on behalf of all Jews with the King. Ester points out to him that anyone who approaches the King without being summoned is subject to death. Mordecai replies with a question “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b).
Whether we look at the movie Lincoln or read the story of Esther, it is easy to see that they were divinely appointed and called to a difficult challenge. Both accepted the challenge and were willing to sacrifice to accomplish it.
We may never face circumstances like those that President Lincoln or Esther did but like them, we are uniquely created and called to partner with God in our generation.
Every age and every generation has a “such a time as this”
I will never be the president of the United States or the Queen of a powerful king, but I can choose to be in partnership with God. He is glorified when I trust and obey. Whether the stakes are large or small, it takes the same character qualities of courage and moral strength to choose what is right.
“The timing and place of your birth are not accidental; God puts us all in certain time frames and locations. Many people spend their entire lives never knowing what their purpose is, but perhaps it is because they try to choose their own destiny rather than follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Following God requires sacrifices and a willingness to be uncomfortable.” – Joyce Meyer.
A sense of destiny is our sacred birthright as a child of God. We need to Commit to finding and living out the calling planned by God for our life.
When Ester received Mordecai’s message, she immediately sought God through prayer and fasting. We read the reply she sent to Mordecai in Esther 4:15-16; “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And though it is against the law, I will go to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”
With God, there are no ordinary people. He calls and qualifies each one of us. He has not placed us in our present position for our benefit. Rather, He put us here to serve Him, and this will involve taking risks and a willingness to sacrifice.
We find fulfillment in doing what He originally designed and destined us to do. Will I answer the call for “such a time as this”? Will you?
What did God design you to accomplish in this life? Where are you at in fulfilling that destiny?
This post first appeared May 23, 2017.