It's so much easier to be thankful for Cousin Mordecai's generous spirit, than focus on how much I miss my parents. Things could have gone in a whole different direction.
Mordecai had a very beautiful cousin named Esther, whose Hebrew name was Hadassah. He had raised her as his own daughter, after her father and mother died.
Esther 2:7 CEV
When the king ordered the search for beautiful women, many were taken to the king’s palace in Susa, and Esther was one of them.
Esther 2:8 CEV
15 When it was Esther’s[a] turn to go to the king, she accepted the advice of Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the harem, dressing according to his instructions. And all the other girls exclaimed with delight when they saw her... 17 Well, the king loved Esther more than any of the other girls. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti.
Esther 2:15, 17 CEV
And what's up with this guy, Haman? King Xerxes has always been kind to me, but Haman seems kinda power-hungry. Not only that, he seems to have it in for Cousin Mordecai. What could Haman possibly have against the kindest man around?
5 Haman was furious to learn that Mordecai refused to kneel down and honor him. 6 And when he found out that Mordecai was a Jew, he knew that killing only Mordecai was not enough. Every Jew in the whole kingdom had to be killed.
Esther 3:5-6 CEV
I think I can trust Hathach. I'll send him to my cousin to find out what's going on with him.
6 So Hathach went out to where Mordecai was in the open place of the city in front of the king’s gate. 7 Then Mordecai told Hathach everything that had happened to him. Mordecai told him about the exact amount of money Haman had promised to put into the king’s treasury for killing Jews. 8 Mordecai also gave Hathach a copy of the king’s command to kill the Jews. The command had been sent out all over the city of Susa. He wanted Hathach to show it to Esther and tell her everything. And he told him to encourage Esther to go to the king and beg him for mercy for Mordecai and her people.
Esther 4: 6-8 ERV
12 When Mordecai was told what Esther had said, 13 he sent back this reply, “Don’t think that you will escape being killed with the rest of the Jews, just because you live in the king’s palace. 14 If you don’t speak up now, we will somehow get help, but you and your family will be killed. It could be that you were made queen for a time like this!”
Esther 4:12-14 CEV
Dear Lord, I long to know and do your will. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your plan to deliver your children from death.
7 King Xerxes then said to Esther and Mordecai, “I have already ordered Haman to be hanged and his house given to Esther, because of his evil plans to kill the Jews. 8 I now give you permission to make a law that will save the lives of your people. You may use my ring to seal the law, so that it can never be changed.”
Esther 8: 7-8 CEV
The story of Esther is one of beauty, brains, and bravery. Even more, it the story of obedience and being called to be more than a pretty face.