Esther 2:19 – 20 “When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.”
Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, was sitting at the king’s gate. This didn’t mean he was just hanging out, catching up on the latest gossip and playing checkers. No, in that culture, “sitting at the king’s gate” meant that he was a judge. He had been given a position of importance in the kingdom. But no one knew he was Esther’s cousin.
Now, we don’t know if Mordecai earned his place on the city council legitimately, or if Esther whispered something in her husband’s ear about “that nice man, Mordecai.” But one thing is for sure, God placed Mordecai in a position to be near Ruth. It was because of Mordecai’s position at the gate that he learned information that he wouldn’t have known otherwise.
It must have been a comfort to Ruth, to look out and see her father figure sitting at the gate whenever she stood on her balcony. I’ll bet they waved or nodded discreetly, or made subtle eye contact. I can’t help but think that, in addition to God’s greater purpose of saving the Jews, He also wanted to make sure Esther knew she wasn’t alone.
I know, in my own life, there have been times when I felt all alone and afraid. But in the most desperate, scariest of times, God has made Himself known. He has let me feel His presence. He has also placed just the right people in just the right places to encourage me, comfort me, and support me when I most needed it.
Sometimes it has been in the form of a stranger, offering a smile on a rotten day. At times, it has been a card, or letter, or e-mail from a friend. Other times, a thoughtful phone call has lifted my spirits. And just when I need it most, God always sends someone to give me a hug and an encouraging word. Our Father knows we need each other, and sometimes He helps things along.
Are you lonely, my friend? Scared? Discouraged? God is right there with you. And look around. I’ll just bet, if you look out at the crowded city gates of your life, you will find a friend, sent by God, just for this time in your life.
Dear Father, Thank You for never leaving me alone. Thank You for the encouragement and support of other people, just when I need it most.