An entire people group is on the brink of extinction, and the actions of a particular woman will determine their destiny.
In the Old Testament, we learn of a Jewish woman named Esther. Esther is a leader with tremendous influence. She is given an opportunity to use her influence and potentially save her people from genocide. However, an appeal to the King could very easily equal her death.
Esther decides to approach her friend Moredecai, who responds to her dilemma by saying, "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" (Esther 4:14a).
Plain and simple, Esther is in a pickle. She is in between a rock and a hard place with few places to turn. Times are tough and none of her options look especially desirable to her. But then Mordecai says something very profound. He says, "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14b).
You see, Mordecai saw something that Esther didn't. He saw a calling on Esther's life, he saw possibility where Esther saw catastrophe. Esther had influence, but more than that she had an opportunity to be bold and show others what faith really looked like.
In the end, Esther took the risk and embraced the unknown. Through her obedience, she aligned herself with God's plan. But it required her to be bold, take a chance, and lead the way.
Does this story sound relatable? In your case, a group of people may not be at the brink of elimination, but it is no secret that times are tough for business leaders. Work isn’t just slow, its absent. Times aren't just tough, they are uncertain.
For some, the hard questions are no longer "Who should I hire?" or "How do we keep growing?" Rather, they have turned into "Who do we let go?" or "Are we going to make it?" Difficult decisions need to be made and a lot of things are up in the air. However, it is in times like these that God asks leaders to step up, take a risk, and embrace the unknown. It requires seeing difficult times as a chance to strengthen the faith of yourself and those around you. Point blank, it requires a new perspective on tough times.
Let's look to the book of James for a proper perspective: James 1:2-4 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Need we be reminded of the life of James? An apostle of Jesus and a martyr of the faith. James faced death at the hands of men. Nevertheless, he considered his life pure joy. Despite the trials, despite the setbacks, and even despite the danger his life was in.
Due to the coronavirus, life as a leader just got a whole lot tougher. And yet, James encourages you to consider your challenges "pure joy". He demonstrates that joy is not a result of our circumstances, but of our hope in Christ.
The coronavirus gives you an opportunity that few leaders will ever get in their lifetime. You have the opportunity to respond in a crisis. What a unique opportunity to glorify God! You have a chance to be like Esther and be bold in the face of the unknown. A chance to be like James and admit that although times are tough, there is a purpose behind them that will mold and shape you.
Times such as this require you to understand that you are limited in your strength. God is in control, and he very much sees you in this trial. So do not allow a negative perspective to determine the outcome, but rather let the hope of Christ lead you to ultimate victory. Be bold, choose joy, and give up control. Because maybe, just maybe, you have come to your position for a time such as this.