“The early bird…catches the worm”
“An apple a day…keeps the doctor away”
“Always a bridesmaid…never a bride”
“Do as I say…not as I do”
“Here today…gone tomorrow”
“Money doesn’t grow on… trees”
“Bloom where you are… planted.” Anyone heard of that sweet little cliché? What does it mean? It means give your best no matter your situation.
God has created each and every one of us for a specific purpose.
John 15:8 has that purpose. It says “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”
Today we’ll look at a woman from the Bible who did a great job of blooming where she was planted. We’ll see her in three different “pots” or situations…the foreign pot, the beauty school pot, and the palace pot. She bore much fruit and glorified her Father no matter where she seemed to be planted. Her name is Esther, Queen of Persia.
The Foreign Pot
Read Esther 2:5-7
Esther was a Jewish girl living in a foreign land with an older male cousin as her guardian. When this is the situation you’re placed in you can either a) get bitter, rebellious, and depressed; or b) do your best and trust God. Verse 20 tells us that Esther always did what Mordecai asked of her. She was obedient to his leadership when she was under his care. That’s blooming. By honoring Mordecai, she honored her parents and God. Sometimes blooming isn’t in doing but in submitting. That could apply to a spouse, a boss, a pastor…God, anyone in authority.
During this time there was another queen. Her name was Vashti. King Xerxes was very wealthy and held a long party to display his wealth. One day he decided to display one of his greatest treasures, his queen. When Queen Vashti got the word to appear before the king, she refused. Needless to say this got her royal position removed. Now it was time to find a new queen. Ah, the Miss Persia Pageant.
The Beauty School Pot
Read Esther 2:2-4, 8.
Esther just got replanted into a new pot. She had become close with Mordecai and now she was being shipped off to beauty school to be one among hundreds going for the crown. Only maybe it wasn’t the crown she wanted. A good Jewish girl always had hopes of marrying a good Jewish boy and giving him a son one day. That dream was now over. Now, she would either be Queen of Persia (a scary thing for a young Jewish girl) or just part of the harem of the king. Again, she has two choices: a) bitterness, rebellion, depression; or b) do your best and trust God. We see in v.9 what she did.
Read Esther 2:9.
Esther is blooming again. She had a character quality about her that no one else had. No one knew Esther was a Jew, but Hegai caught notice of her character and rewarded her for it. Never underestimate the power of your actions and attitudes. People are watching.
In 2006, God moved our family from our hometown in Bossier City, Louisiana to Corpus Christi, Texas. I was really nervous about moving so far away, but I knew without doubt that it was God’s plan. Whenever anyone would ask how I felt about the situation I would say, “Well, I’m nervous but I know that this is God’s plan and He will take care of all the details. I trust Him.” It wasn’t but a few days later that I overheard someone ask my daughter the same question. I wondered how she would answer so I decided to eaves-drop a little more. She said, “Well, I’m nervous but I know that this is God’s plan and He will take care of all the details. I trust Him.”
My jaw dropped! It was in that moment that God opened my eyes to the influence I had over my children. What if I had been angry? Bitter? Mad at my husband for not getting another job in our hometown instead? I thanked God in that moment for His leadership in my life. Without God guiding me, I would be a mess in guiding my girls.
Back to Esther…
They couldn’t put their finger on it, but something was different about her. Do people say that about you? When you are at different places (ballpark, gym, supermarket, etc.) can people see a difference in you? Can they see the fruit of the spirit? Galatians 5:22-23 says the Fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”. Esther had these qualities. She learned them from the first foreign pot she was planted in. This is what she learned by submitting to Mordecai. They served her well in this beauty school pot. Let’s see how long Esther was in beauty school.
Read Esther 2:12-15
She was there for at least a year. Esther learned to cherish wise council. She listened to Hegai’s advice. When she went to the king (the third pot), she took with her all she learned from Mordecai (first pot) and Hegai (second pot).
How did it turn out?
The Palace Pot
Read Esther 2:17.
Now Esther is Queen of Persia. For several years this pot seems to go undisturbed. Esther is adjusting nicely to palace life…until Haman (like vice president) devises a plan to kill all the Jews. Remember, no one knows that Esther is a Jew. In chapter 4 Esther gets word of Haman’s plot and she and Mordecai have a little discussion over it.
Read Esther 4:5-14
Esther has made it to the big time. She’s now Mrs. High and Mighty, Queen of Persia. Mordecai is just a commoner, a regular Jew. Things were going smoothly until Cousin Mordecai came delivering the news. Esther at this point is contemplating the gravity of her situation. If she goes to the king unannounced, she could be killed. How is Esther going to respond now? Will she turn her back on her people now that she is royalty? Or will she use that position for the purpose it was given?
Are you ready to handle awesome responsibilities given from God? So often we want the glory but not the responsibility.
Read Esther 4:15-17.
She decided to do her best and trust God. What an amazing influence!
The story turns out well. Esther obtains favor from the king and after a couple of banquets she tells the king that she is Jewish and her people are in danger. There’s a lot more to the story so I suggest reading on your own. Bottom line: Esther bloomed at every stage in her life, and it eventually led to the saving of her people.
She bloomed in a foreign home in a foreign land.
She bloomed when taken away from the only family she had.
She bloomed in a new high and royal position.
Each pot led her to the next.
Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Three years after we moved to Corpus Christi, God called us back home to Bossier City. Honestly, I was a bit confused. I was just getting familiar with the Corpus Christi pot. I was really putting my roots down. This pot had a great church, great schools, great friends, and a great ballet studio for my girls. It had an amazing grocery store! To top it all off…this pot was sitting by the OCEAN! Surely God wasn’t calling us to leave. Oh but He was. He was clear that “the cloud was moving” (Exodus reference). Would I protest and demand to stay? Or would I trust Him and pick up our family again for another move? If there is one thing I have learned over these years, it is that when God moves, you better move too.
We have been back in our hometown now for almost four years. In those four years we have seen God do amazing things in our church and in our families. I’m so glad for the adventure in trusting Him. He is faithful. He is true.
God has your pots all ready and laid out for you. It’s up to you how you will grow in them.