A Brave Choice Remembered

“Brenda, you are part of our institutional history,” were the unforgettable words spoken to me about my involvement in a military organization. At forty years old, I was just told I was historical. Now, I could have interpreted the words to mean I was a relic whose time had passed, but I choose to accept the affirmation for my earlier decision to participate wholeheartedly in an organization I valued. I was part of a leadership team whose contributions over the years had been institutionalized to the extent that they would continue to make a positive difference for those who would follow.

Esther was still a young woman when she made the choice to put her life at risk, identify with her people, and confront her enemy. Her action resulted in the Jewish people celebrating a victory over potential destruction, which they then institutionalized. Jews still commemorate Esther’s choice in the festival of Purim. Esther 9:27–29 makes the celebration of this event a holy obligation, not just an optional observance, from that time forward. Jews worldwide maintain their obligation to celebrate Purim as days when God gave them relief from their enemies, turned their sorrow into gladness, and their mourning into joy.

What would have happened if Esther’s choice had been different? Her circumstances forced a choice between saving her people and protecting herself. God might have raised up someone else to bring deliverance and we would not remember her. But she made a hard and wise choice in an uncertain season.

Each season of life brings opportunities to make contributions that benefit others. I must weigh my decisions today in light of the consequences of tomorrow, both for others and for myself. Only God knows if the seasons to follow will validate my choices of today.

We celebrate Esther’s choice to identify with God’s people. The most important choice we can make is to identify ourselves with God’s people by accepting Jesus as our Savior. That choice will make a difference in every season of life. Now, that is something to celebrate!

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