Say Yes

Carrie Schumacher, Care Center Director, South Barrington | April 24, 2024

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14

I will never forget the first time I volunteered at the Care Center.  At the time, it was located in a small storefront in Hoffman Estates. When I arrived, I noticed the single-file line of guests wrapping all the way down the block in the January cold, waiting to receive bags of pre-packaged groceries. I was so overwhelmed by the unjustness of it that I nearly lost my nerve, got back in my car, and drove away. But in as clear a way as I’ve ever experienced, I felt God prompting that if I leaned into the discomfort, He would do way more in me than He would ever do through me.  And He’s been proving that promise true in my life every day since. 

Even still, for each time that I’ve said ‘yes’ to God, there are many more times when I haven’t.  Sometimes, the sacrifice it would require was a simple inconvenience, but I was in a hurry, so I looked the other way and pretended not to notice. Other times, the cost felt too great, and I was unwilling to prioritize His plans over my own. And even other times, the decision hasn’t been mine at all; in those moments, my choice is not whether or not to experience the ‘interruption’ but rather, the heart and posture with which I’ll lean in for the ride.

For Esther, the choice she faces in today’s passage has harrowing consequences. As she finds herself living comfortably in the palace and within the king’s favor, it would have been far easier to look the other way, right past the violence and injustice being waged on her people. One of my favorite quotes from Bob Goff says, “Instead of closing our eyes and bowing our heads, sometimes God wants us to keep our eyes open for people in need, do something about it, and bow our whole lives to Him instead.”

For Esther, saving the Jewish people meant bowing her literal life to God. The directive was clear—God would save his people—the only question was whether Esther would be along for the journey as He did. Leveraging our hearts, our lives, our time, our talents, and our treasures on behalf of others and for God’s purposes in this world is rarely easy or convenient, but it is a ‘yes’ you’ll never regret saying. And I’d venture to guess the ‘yes’ God is asking of you might just be for such a time as this.

Next Steps

Before putting your mind to work to determine what you can do for the Kingdom, Read Romans 8:16 and take a quiet moment to let your spirit connect to God’s Holy Spirit. Then, ask God to reveal to you what HE wants you to do. Be on the lookout both during as well as for some time after your prayer for the inner signs of His Holy Spirit prompting you.