The story of Esther in the Old Testament is one that I always enjoy reading. The book of Esther starts out by telling us that a king by the name of King Xerxes was holding an elaborate banquet. He asked the queen, whose name was Queen Vashti, to come to the assembly so everyone could see how beautiful she was. However, the queen refused to go, and this angered the king. So, the king dismissed her and searched for a new queen. Many young ladies came to present themselves as a potential queen, including a young lady named Esther. Esther was orphaned at a young age due to the death of her parents. So, a cousin named Mordecai raised her and acted as father to her. Since Mordecai and Esther were Jewish, they were foreigners in this land. But Mordecai told Esther not to reveal her nationality. When the king saw Esther, she immediately won his favor because of her beauty. Therefore, she became queen.
But the story doesn’t end there. There was a man named Haman who King Xerxes honored by giving him a seat higher than any noble. All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt before Haman to honor him. However, Mordecai would not kneel as the others did. This made Haman very angry. Somehow, he learned that Mordecai was a Jew and he plotted to have all the Jews in the kingdom killed. When Mordecai learned of this, he was greatly distressed. He went to the king’s gate in sackcloth. Esther heard that he was there and sent someone to ask him what was troubling him. He explained the whole story and asked that Esther plead with the king. Initially Esther did not agree to the request because no one was allowed to approach the king in the inner court without being summoned. The consequences could result in death, unless the king extended his gold scepter to them and spared their lives. Mordecai further persuaded Esther saying that perhaps she gained her royal position “for such a time as this.”
Esther decided she would do whatever she could, even if it meant death. She and her attendants, as well as Mordecai and the other Jews, fasted for three days. When Esther went to the inner court, the king was pleased to see her and extended his gold scepter. He asked her what it was that she wanted. In the end she requested that the lives of the Jews be spared and her request was granted.
(This is the abridged version. If you have never read the book of Esther in the Old Testament, I recommend it. It is a quick, yet entertaining, read.)
I think Esther knew the secret to life. I think she knew a key piece of knowledge that many of us miss out on. I think she knew the four words that will solve all our problems.
It’s not about me.
Nothing is about us. It’s all about God. The King of kings and the Lord of lords. The Great I Am. Esther becoming queen was not about her. It was not about her beauty. It was not a Cinderella story. It was about God and His glory. God orchestrated the whole thing in order to save His people.
Let’s remind ourselves of some biblical truths. We were created by God Almighty. God wanted a relationship with us. We were chosen by God long before we were born. Even when we turned against Him, He chased after us. God knew we would sin and He paved a way to save us. Jesus went to the cross for us. We have a purpose. We have been appointed. The Lord called us. All of this tells me that everything we do should be done for His glory.
I don’t know about you, but this makes me feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. When I am tempted to feel fearful, discouraged, irritated, angry, defeated, tired, or sad due to whatever I might be facing in life – the four words “it’s not about me” turn everything around. Suddenly I feel as though I can press forward. I have to ask myself, what right do I have to complain about anything? I don’t, because it’s not about me.
But we can rest assured that whatever is done for God’s glory, He will also work for our good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
In the end, everything should be from the perspective of serving God and honoring God. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” No matter what mountain is in front of you, perhaps this helps change your perspective, and press forward with courage. Perhaps this gives you hope.
“I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.” – Psalm 86:12