As we travel the road to recovery, fear may slow us down. It’s not that we expected the trip to be easy. But some elements can be intimidating, like listing and then sharing all the ugliness in our life with another human being. Esther experienced the degree to which fear can make us falter.
Her people, exiled Jews then scattered across the Persian Empire, faced extermination because of the vicious plot of Haman (see Esther 3). Esther, in her role as queen, was their only hope. Mordecai had become his cousin’s guardian after the young Esther’s parents had died. He now sent a message and documents to Esther detailing the vile scheme and asking her to go to the king and beg for mercy. This was risky business. Esther’s predecessor had angered the king and lost her position. To appear before him without a summons could result in execution (see Esther 4:11). Esther understandably balked at what she had to do. She was afraid.
Mordecai responded to her hesitation by pointing out that her refusal would mean her own death, as well as the deaths of her father’s family, and that her position may well have been given to her in light of the crisis her people now faced (see v. 14).
Esther, to her credit, responded to the reasoning of a man she trusted, fasted to gain spiritual strength and insight, sought the support of others in her preparations, made a commitment, accepted the potential price (death) she might have to pay (see vv. 15–16), and developed a plan (see Esther 5-7).
God graciously protected Esther. When she entered the king’s chamber, he granted her an audience and listened to her petition. Carefully and methodically Esther moved through her meticulously developed plan.
The product of her faith and hard work was her own survival and that of her people. When fear causes us to falter in our recovery, we must seek help. We must go to our accountability partner, sponsor, recovery leader, pastor, or Christian counselor. We don’t have to face our fears alone if we take the risk. Our recovery and the well-being of our families require action. However hard the next step might be, turning back now will have tragic consequences both for us and for those we love.