It was a Friday afternoon, long after the rest of her staff had left. Amanda stood in her office doorway, cardboard box in hand. She thought about the years spent within these four walls, the conversations, the accomplishments, the challenges. It all had gone by so fast and now she would pack her office and walk through the company doors one last time.
A door was closing on a season of Amanda’s life, a rich, growing season but at this point, there were no new doors opening. No window had appeared to provide a new start.
So, Amanda packs years’ worth of memories into a cardboard box, glances fondly out the window, and walks out of her office – a closed-door behind her.
We all have faced them:
• Didn’t get accepted to that club, college, team – closed door
• Singleness, divorce – closed door
• Infertility – closed door
• Widowed, lost child, parent, a close friend – closed door
• Fired, downsized, restructured, retired – closed door
Last week, I introduced you to Esther, a beautiful young Jewish girl that became queen and saved her people from certain destruction. What I didn’t mention in that blog was why Esther became queen. To better understand how this came about we have to go back to the book of Esther and meet Queen Vashti.
Queen Vashti was Persian, born into royalty – the daughter of a king. According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, her name means “beautiful” and as we will learn, she lived up to her name. The book of Esther, chapter 1, shares that she is King Xerxes’ first wife and based his great wealth Queen Vashti must have enjoyed all the benefits of being on the throne.
During the third year of King Xerxes’ reign, he threw an elaborate party for all his officials, military leaders, and the empire’s elite. The party displayed the wealth and power of the king. The event lasted 180 days and once complete, King Xerxes held a 7-day festival for all the people of his province from the “least to the greatest.” It was a time of lavish drinking and celebration.
According to Esther 1:10-12
(10) On the seventh day of the feast, when King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine, he told the seven eunuchs who attended him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas — (11) to bring Queen Vashti to him with the royal crown on her head. He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman. (12) But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Herbert Lockyer states in his book All the Women of the Bible,
The Bible plainly declares that Ahasuerus (Xerxes) summoned his wife to the feast simply “to show off her beauty”. Had the king been sober he would not have considered such a breach of custom, for he knew that Eastern women lived in seclusion and that such a request as he made in his drunken condition amounted to a gross insult.
Uncertain about how to handle the Queen’s refusal, King Xerxes consulted with experts and in Esther 1:19 we learn the queen’s fate,
Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also, let the king give her royal position to someone who is better than she.
New Living Translation (NLT)
With the king’s declaration, Queen Vashti was faced with a closed door, slammed shut, no recourse. Yet with that single decision, the window flies open for Esther and she is swept from her meager life as Mordecai’s adopted daughter to the new queen.
Picture in your mind the emotions that swirled in Vashti’s head, the pain felt in her heart, the panic that welled up as she was deposed from all that had defined her. She would be leaving the comfort, wealth, and prestige of being King Xerxes’ queen to an uncertain future.
The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened to Vashti, we can only speculate she either was completely outcast from the palace or became a member of the king’s concubine. But, we know her life was never the same after leaving her position as queen.
Most of the time, doors close when we least suspect them and when we are least prepared emotionally to handle them. But we can be certain of this, every closed door leads to something new, something different, a new opportunity to grow, learn, and change.
For Queen Vashti, a door closed and God used it to open a window for Esther. Her temporary discomfort led to a nation of people being saved.
We can’t always understand why doors close but we can choose to trust God, the one who knows the answers to all our whys and allow our temporary discomfort to build our faith, draw us closer to Him, transform our lives.
Doors close but God’s love is steadfast. His heart for his daughters is unchanging. We can trust that we are forever His BeLOVED and He will use everything that happens in our lives to form us into His image.
Sisters, trust God when doors in your life close. He has a plan for you, today, tomorrow and in the future!
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