Esther 2:15 “When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.”
Esther’s time in the royal spa has drawn to a close. She has been fattened up, slathered up, and dolled up. Now, it is her turn for a possible one night stand with the king. She knows this is her big chance to be queen. If she doesn’t please him, she will be nothing more than a concubine, a kept woman, for the rest of her life.
I’m sure many of the girls thought, “Well, here’s my chance. I might as well take what I can get, in case I don’t win.” They probably layered as many jewels and crowns and fine robes as they could fit on their bodies, weighing themselves down with costly finery. After all, they had the right to get whatever they wanted. They were certainly giving up a lot. Many of us might have done the same thing.
But Esther was a natural beauty. There was something about her that was radiant and special, and to add to that would have simply taken the focus away from her lovely features. So, true to form, she listened to the wisdom of Hegai, her advisor, and kept it simple.
As she took that long walk from her room to the king’s chamber, I’m sure she attracted many stares and whispers. “Look at her! She’s not wearing much jewelry. And she’s lovely!”
“Even without the jewelry, she is sure to win. She is a work of art.”
I know this may seem like a stretch, but I can’t help but think of my cluttered garage. And my closet, packed too tight with clothes I never wear. And my cabinets filled with storage containers I rarely use. Why in the world do we think that more stuff will make our lives better? Why do we think that all those extra layers will make us happier, or more attractive, or more satisfied?
It actually does the opposite. The stuff, no matter how lovely or attractive it may seem, simply clutters up our lives. It draws our attention away from what is really important. Matthew 6:19 – 20 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
While there is nothing wrong with having nice things, we need to remember that things will never bring us happiness. Things, no matter how lovely or useful or attractive they are, will not satisfy us. Only a right relationship with God can do that. And more times than not, the “stuff” just weighs us down with clutter and hefty credit card payments.
I want to be like Esther, and keep it simple.
Dear Father, Help me to avoid the trappings of too much stuff. I want the joy in my life to come from You, not things.