We only know what God has planned for us when we open His Word and read the luminous stories of those who God used. I read in a sermon the other day that everyone in the Bible given an assignment by God achieves it: that’s encouraging to realise.
I wanted to link today to John Piper’s poem on Esther Part 1 – I would recommend you listen rather than simply read, which is an extremely anointed and powerful poem. I just want to mention a very talented writer, Lynette, who introduced me to John Piper’s poetry and indeed lent me the wonderful hardback illustrated book of this poem. ‘Esther’ has to be one of the key inspirations for each of our destinies: that we were born for such a time as this. And past all our self-blown importance; beyond the peacock feathers of our own grandeur and the noise of our own glory, we were orphans, and he has made us kings and queens. HE has made us kings and queens. We had no share in the inheritance, and He has betrothed us to the Heir of all creation:
At thirty-five her hair was fine
And cinder black. Nor was there sign
Of aging in her queenly face.
And those who saw the tiny trace
Of tragedy left in her eyes
Compared it to the Persian skies
When storms have purged the gloomy air,
And left the faintest rainbow there.
She gave her firstborn son the name
Of Abihail, and hoped the flame
Of faith would burn in him, as pure
And bright as once burned deep and sure
Within her father’s breast.
The boy said, “Mamma, is it right
That you became the Queen because
Your were so beautiful? And laws
Were changed because you were so brave?”
Listen to the poem to hear the incredible spin that John Piper puts on it – how he takes us outside and inside the story in original ways to be able to look at what happened to Esther from different angles and perceive what a strange and marvellous narrative it is; and how at the heart of it was a scared girl cast adrift from her family, her culture: and yet God was using her in astonishing ways. She tells her story to her son – we are also called to both live and tell our story to others.