Esther: “Not All That Glitters Is Gold” by Ellen Parr

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Read Esther 1-2:18

And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women (Esther 2:17).

Disney has built a billion-dollar industry on the dreams of cute little girls squealing to be princesses. (Well, they’ve built it thanks to the parents and grandparents willing to dig deep into their pockets.) With the twirl of a new sparkly dress, Cinderellas, Snow Whites, and Rapunzels are instantly made. Gold crowns and Mama’s wobbly high heels create chuckles and smiles as “Prince Daddy” rescues them. Is happiness really this easy to achieve?

The world watched with breathless anticipation as Kate Middleton married Prince William and Meghan Markle married Prince Harry. Commoners were transformed into princesses before our eyes. For a moment, anything felt possible for us “ordinaries.” Is the ideal life so easy to achieve?

This is Esther’s story. A Jewish orphan and a minority in a foreign country, she came from humble beginnings. Looking at Esther chapter 2, King Xerxes was single and ready to mingle. In a storyline that strikingly mirrors the popular TV show The Bachelor, beautiful young women were brought from every part of the Persian kingdom and given months of beauty treatments. One by one the potential queens came before Xerxes. Who would he desire to be his next wife? Esther “had a lovely figure and was beautiful” and was greatly esteemed by all around her. So it was probably no surprise when the king fell in love and married her (see Esther 2:7, 15-17). Though a king, Esther’s husband didn’t quite fit the dreamy prince single gals look for in a husband. A partier and heavy drinker, Xerxes had banished his last wife in a drunken rage when she refused to be paraded in front of other men (see Esther 1:10-20). And yet, this is the kingdom Esther joined. This is the platform on which God sovereignly placed Esther.

Our desire for an ideal life points to a Garden past (see Gen. 1-2) and a future kingdom (see Rev. 21-22). Yet, God has placed you in less-than-ideal circumstances with imperfect people, so that you will make a difference. Esther’s circumstances were less than ideal, yet God used her in a powerful way. Whether you’re an exhausted stay-at-home mom, a thriving businessman, a broke student, a successful writer, or someone who feels like a nobody, God is not blind to the details of your life. You might be enduring the most bitter of days or flourishing in your sweet spot. Regardless of your circumstances, seek to know Him where He has you, and allow Him to use your platform like He used the platform of an orphaned out-of-place Jewish girl.

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