Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? – Esther 4:13-14
When Esther hesitated to speak to King Ahasuerus about Haman’s plot against the Jews, Mordecai’s response was, to quote one commentator, “grounded in the reality and necessity of God’s intervention.” He knew that God would keep His covenant promise and could raise up someone else if Esther chose to keep silent. Yet Mordecai also asked Esther to consider whether God had placed her in the right place at the right time to act on behalf of her people. She had won the beauty pageant and become queen, but she hadn’t been responsible for putting her nose on her face or determining the color of her eyes or the length of her legs. God had done all of that. Mordecai didn’t claim certain inside knowledge of the will of God, but he did realize that God had put Esther in a unique position and that He may well have done so for a unique purpose.
Although it may not always feel like it, God has also put each of us in a unique position for a unique purpose. He has us exactly where He wants us, positioned perfectly for “good works, which God prepared beforehand” (Ephesians 2:10). So, instead of wishing for a new job, location, or abilities so that we can get on with our own big, overarching plan, we need to recognize that God’s plan may very well involve simply doing what we’re already doing, to His glory.
There is no ideal place in which to serve God except the place where He has set you down—wherever it is. Such a perspective transforms sweeping a floor into divine activity. You may not be a queen like Esther, but your role matters. That’s a tremendous liberation from the fear that life is happening somewhere else, and a tremendous motivation to get on with obeying God here and now! Wherever God has placed you, respond today in obedience to His foreordained purposes. As you go to your office, to your school, or throughout your town, neighborhood, or city, let the words of this hymn become your prayer:
Forth in Thy name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labor to pursue,
Thee, only Thee, resolved to know
In all I think, or speak, or do.
The task Thy wisdom hath assigned
O let me cheerfully fulfill,
In all my works Thy presence find,
And prove Thy good and perfect will.