In ancient Persian history there is a fascinating story of a queen who rescued her race from genocide. When she was informed of the plot by her uncle Mordecai, she tells him that if she approaches the king without being summoned, she could very easily die. Mordecai sent this reply to Esther:
“Don’t think for a moment that because you are in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”
What a time to be alive! It is highly unlikely that we will be present for another global pandemic. It’s an opportunity we will never experience again. This is not the time to shrink back and worry about ourselves. This is the time to arise—to take what we have been given (position, authority, gifts, talents, resources, skills, and hope) and fill the gaps in the life of another.
When we look back on world events, we recognize the pain millions experienced, but we intimately know the names of the people that stood up and conquered while many fell back: Winston Churchill, Corrie Ten Boom, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, George Washington, Ghandi, William Wilberforce, Moses, King David, Esther, Nehemiah, Martin Luther King, and many more. They led people into victory despite the overwhelming circumstances. None of them were perfect, but all of them said yes to the call. They went from nobody to a hero who will never to be forgotten.
“They triumphed because they did not love and cling to their own lives, even when faced with death.”
These heroes did not love their lives so much that they put their energy into saving themselves... they saw their fellow man and put their energy into saving him, regardless of the cost. This is not the time to think about ourselves. If we protect ourselves while others are suffering, what is the point? What will we gain? Eventually our lives have to have a meaning that is bigger than us so that our time on this earth counts. If we live only to serve ourselves then we get to the end of our lives with the horrific realization that what we accomplished will die with us. This is a time to serve others, not ourselves.
When we are told to sit still and stay at home it can feel impossible to rise up and overcome COVID-19. How could one person matter in the context of a worldwide virus? I’m sure at some point all of our heroes had the same thought and wondered what they could do. But the reality my friends is that you have been given something. You don't have to change the world—just take what you have been given and do something with it.
That's all any hero ever did.
No one else is you. No one else can offer what you can. You have internet. You have neighbors. There are people you know. There are things you can make, build, create... Don’t waste your time hoarding, trying to save yourself, have enough rice for yourself, or enough toilet paper for yourself.
Ask the question: What do I have?
Ask the next question: How can I give it away?
You will never get this time back. Do not live out this season in a way that you will regret. Leave it all on the field and sleep well at night knowing that you made a difference.
Perhaps you were placed on the earth for such a time as this...