Summary: A Mother's Day challenge - that's not just for mother's - from the book of Esther. It is for such a time as this that God has raised you up in Jesus!

For Such A Time As This - Esther 4:12-16 - May 13, 2012

Series: Mother’s Day

Video Clip: Show Skit Guys Mother’s Day Video Clip - Key Point: “You continue to change the world with your special song and dance.”

Max Lucado, in his book, In the Eye of the Storm, tells the story of Chippie the Parakeet. Some of you will have heard this story before but I want to share it with you again this morning, knowing that it will be new to some. Lucado begins with these words:

"Chippie the Parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, blown over.

The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean his cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. At that same moment, the phone rang, and without thinking, she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said ‘hello’ when ‘sssopp!’ Chippie got sucked in.

The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie—still alive, but stunned. Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was now soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted Chippie with a burst of hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.

A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. “Well,” she replied after some thought, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore—he just sits and stares.” It’s not hard to see why - sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . that’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart."

I suspect that all of us here this morning have felt like Chippie at one time or another. Our dreams have been dashed, our spirits have been shattered, and our world has been turned upside down in an instant. And just like Chippie, maybe we never saw it coming. One minute we were just singing away, and the next we had been blown over by one of life’s many storms. (Adapted from Joe la Rue, quoting Max Lucado, “In the Eye of the Storm,”

This Mother’s Day morning we are going to look at the story of a young woman who, though she was sucked in, washed up, and blown over by the storms of life, continued to change the world with her own special song and dance. Would you open your Bibles with me please to the book of Esther. Esther, chapter 4, and we’ll begin reading in verse 12.

Now, if you’re not familiar with Esther’s story, let me set the stage for you: Esther was a young Jewish woman who lived during a very difficult time in the life of her people. She, along with countless thousands of others, was a descendant of the Jews who had been taken captive when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had destroyed Jerusalem. So she and her people lived in exile, far from their ancestral home, under the dominion of a foreign government. As a young child she had been orphaned and it was an older cousin named, Mordecai, who took her into his home, cared for her needs, and raised her as though she was his own daughter. So while Esther was blessed in many ways, it’s also true that she was no stranger to hurt and heartache.

The Bible goes on to tell us that Esther was a very beautiful woman – we’re told she had a ‘lovely figure,’ but what we’re going to see is that, even more importantly, her beauty went beyond the surface to the heart that lay beneath. That’s the type of beauty, ladies, that God treasures in His daughters, for Scripture says that ultimately your beauty should not come merely from “outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4, NIV)

Now, the culture in which we live emphasizes physical beauty so much, doesn’t it? From an early age our daughters are inundated with images of what they are supposed to look like to be seen as beautiful in the world’s eyes. What a terrible burden we place on them! And literally billions of dollars a year are spent in North America on cosmetics, and such, to try to attain to, or to maintain, this outer beauty.

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