A Modern Day Esther...
Esther 4:16 says,The story of Esther has always been one of my most favorite stories in God's Word! It is a story of courage, boldness, faith, and influence. Esther was a courageous Queen who stepped in and risked her own life for the lives of her people!
"Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will go to the King, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!"
During this last month I have had the privilege of meeting a beautiful young Esther of today named Rifqa! This exceptional and courageous young woman has also risked her life for her Savior and those who will follow after her! She has lit a fire under me to be bold no matter what the circumstances are or how frightening and lonely it might get.
These are a few of the similarities I found between Esther and my sweet sister Rifqa. Esther was called out from all the Jewish young women to become the queen. Rifqa was called out as a very young woman of 17 to leave her earthly family to serve her Savior Jesus Christ. Esther and Rifqa both chose to use their influence for good and to extend God's kingdom on the earth and eventually in eternity.
Esther possessed leadership qualities which you see manifested in God's Word. Rifqa, because of her leadership qualities, was able to get on a bus to find a safe haven. I can only imagine how frightening it must have been for Esther to leave everything behind and stand in the presence of the King. Rifqa left all behind to go by herself to somewhere she had never been, knowing she could die in the process.
Esther accepted God's will. Rifqa quoted Esther 4:16. Esther was confident of God's providence. Esther 4:17 says, "So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him." Rifqa trusted that the Lord would guide her and provide for her needs. Esther was also active in mobilizing her staff in prayer and fasting. Rifqa encourages us to do the same on her behalf and others who are going through the same kind of persecution.
This is what I know. Esther and Rifqa are both my sisters in Christ. One is with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and has left her mark here on this earth through God's Word. Rifqa is still with us and is in the middle of a huge battle! She has shown an enormous amount of courage for a young woman of today. She is courageous and self-sacrificing. She is clever and beautiful. She has been used by our Savior to bring the gospel all over the world in her effort to be able to be free to worship and obey her Savior Jesus Christ!
We know the end result of the life of Esther and how she saved her people. Like Esther, Rifqa courageously formulated her plan even if it meant dying in the process. In the court she has learned to prepare herself spiritually, as was evident, in her prayer life and in fasting! You can see the Lord's guidance in her life by the way she carries herself in words and actions.
Esther is a reminder of God's Sovereignty. God used her beauty, her intelligence, as well as her remarkable, fearless faith to accomplish His will. Through her obedience, Esther became a true star for the kingdom of God.
Rifqa awaits her fate but she awaits with peace and knowing that He is Sovereign and a great and mighty God whom she longs to serve in freedom! Rifqa has become an example to so many young people that have the freedom to serve Him without the fear of dying. She has taught the older believers to do something for His kingdom!
These two beautiful and courageous women should be so ingrained in our lives that we will be courageous ourselves and be bold in our journey! We need to stand in the gap for the defenseless and the fatherless! To obey Him no matter the cost! To run our race knowing that He knows what is on the other end!
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." James 1:27
Close and Personal:
1. What has He called you to do?
2. Have you done anything to help your young sister, Rifqa?
3. Esther and Rifqa are our examples of women of courage, but are you an example to those around you?
Our dear Heavenly Father, I come to you today with a broken spirit asking your to intervene in a great and mighty way for our sister and your daughter Rifqa! Lord, she loves you so much as did Esther. Will you, my Savior, in your majestic way let her be safe where she can continue to worship you freely? Father may we trust you in your response knowing that you know what is the best thing in our lives and may we always know that you don't want to hurt your children, but you want the very best for us! Thank you Lord for Esther and for my dear young sweet sister Rifqa and may we not forget that Rifqa is fighting for her life each and everyday! May we not be blinded by the things of this world that we don't even remember to pray for her and to help her fight the good fight!