Sunday, February 24, 2013

For Such A Time As This

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “for such a time as this” and wondered where it came from.   The saying is from the Biblical book of Esther, and is associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim.  Esther 9:21 tells us this festival is to be observed yearly.  Each year, we remember that G-d placed Hadassah (Esther) in place to save her people from destruction.   She was willing to take the risk and follow what G-d laid on her heart to say and do.  The book of Esther says she was born “for such a time as this”. 

Each year, we celebrate Purim with family and friends at Ma’gen Da’vid Messianic Synagogue.  Purim is also called the holiday of joy and it is traditional to dress up, and be merry while remembering how the Jews of Persia narrowly escaped annihilation thanks to the bravery of Queen Esther.  

Last year, my husband, Rabbi Jem, dressed up as “the oldest rabbi of Israel” complete with a long, grey beard, and read the story of Esther. He was a BIG hit with the children.

Queen Esther aka Amanda
The children in our congregation also dressed in costumes and thoroughly enjoyed making lots of noise while the book was read.  It is traditional to "boo" when the villain’s name, Haman, is read, and to cheer loudly when the hero’s names, Esther and her uncle, Mordechai, are mentioned.  One of our talented Ma'gen Da'vid family painted this wonderful depiction of Queen Esther that the children could put their faces through and have a picture made.  (My daughter, Amanda, had to join the fun!)

Like Esther, each year I am reminded that G-d wants to use me, too, and that we are all born for a purpose: G-d’s purpose.  Personally, this holiday inspires me to stand up and speak for G-d when He gives me the opportunity.

I had just such an opportunity within a few days after Purim last year, when I met a Jewish man at a local fundraiser.  The young man related a story about a horrible wreck he’d recently survived.  With a cracking voice and tears in his eyes, he said, “I don’t know why G-d saved me alive.  Is it just to work day after day as a truck driver?”

G-d spoke very clearly to me at that moment:   Gail, you are here tonight for such a time as this - to tell him that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah.

Trembling, I spoke softly, “I believe G-d saved you alive so that you and I could have this conversation right now.  He wants me to tell you that Yeshua is the Messiah.”

“I just can’t believe a holy and mighty G-d could come to earth in human form”, he said sincerely. 

“My husband, Rabbi Jem, escaped death miraculously like you, and he asked that same question of G-d:  why didn’t I die?  That burning question led him to search for G-d, and it led him to accept Yeshua as the Messiah.” As I spoke those last words, we were interrupted and the conversation with him ended. 

G-d had me there at just the right time to answer his question.  I pray for him, and I believe He will one day find the wonderful peace of knowing Yeshua as his Messiah.  Like Esther, I know G-d used me in that man’s life “for such a time as this”.

This is a repost from a couple of years ago.  In 2013, Purim started at sundown on February 23.  We'll be celebrating today, and I'll post some pics later today. (Here you go!)

Linking up to Spiritual Sundays
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  1. A beautiful post and I have always loved the story of Esther. For such a time as this we all are here and we really needed this reminder, dear sister. Thank you.

  2. Wonderful post for Purim. I was happy to read about your testimony to the man at the fundraiser. It is an example for me-- to be alert for moments when I can speak up.

    Visiting from Spiritual Sundays. May your week be blessed.

  3. Hi Gail, I love the story of Esther. I love how God uses us and how we recognize that at the time. One feels totally humbled and in awe. You planted seeds that day and God will now water and feed those seeds. Blessings and thanks for linking up

  4. I really enjoyed reading your post about Purim. Thank you so much for sharing this over at WholeHearted Home this week.