A Story of Hope

Written by Susan Richardson

As children we all loved “Once upon a time” stories. We loved kings and queens, knights and princesses. We especially loved good triumphing over evil and “happily ever after” endings. As adults, we learned that life does not follow that same pattern. Little girls do not become princesses and little boys do not become knights in shining armor. Many times in our lives evil and sorrow seem to overwhelm us and we feel there will never be a happy ending. I am sure many of my friends have felt this way. These friends endured Nazi Germany and then the Communist dictatorship in Europe. I have never suffered what they did yet, many times; I have the same feelings of hopelessness and despair. I have never been captured or deceived into fighting a war for someone I would later come to despise. Yet I have learned, even when I am captured by heartache and cannot feel God, He is there. When we lack purpose He is ready to point us toward great adventures while pursuing His Holy calling. He wants us to us to know that when we are surrounded, drowning in darkness we can look up. He knows why we are here. He wants us to be still and trust Him to show us. Just say, “I know you have placed me in my situation to be a blessing at such a time as this. If I don’t get a miracle, I will be one!”
The Bible does tell us about a certain disadvantaged little girl who was not born a princess but became queen by winning a beauty pageant. Not only was this girl not a princess, she was an orphan too. On top of all this hardship, her people were in captivity serving a foreign king. This young lady’s story is found in the Book of Esther. Esther is the only book in the Bible where God is not mentioned. Not one time does His name appear but His work is evident. To summarize the story, Esther was raised by her uncle and is chosen to be queen. She must save her Hebrew community from an evil man named Haman who wants to kill them. Esther feels hopeless and terrified at this responsibility. Evil has surrounded her. Her uncle Mordecai gave her a choice concerning whether she would plead her case before the king or not. Mordecai had faith that God would keep His promise to the Jewish people whether by her or by some other means. He warned her that if she does not choose to fulfill her calling she brings judgment on herself and her family. In Esther 4:14 Mordecai stated:

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Esther did have a difficult time trusting God and deciding to do the right thing. She was scared. She did her best and God honored her and spared her people. Her struggle even continues to be celebrated each year during the Jewish holiday of Purim. God is the only One who can (and does!) promise us the “happily ever after”.
Our question is; will we be brave and do what is right in difficult situations? God always gives us hope. Are we able to say with Job, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:10)”? Job lost it all, yet he worshiped God. We may go through the fire but we shall come out like gold if we put our faith in Christ and His death on the cross. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1Peter 1:7)