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A Dark Fresh Start

I have read Ruth a few times and I know the majority are familiar with it, for you often hear women talk about meeting their Boaz and how like him, Christ is our kinsman-redeemer. My focus here though is in the beginning where we learn about the matriarch of the story, Naomi, who lost her husband first, then her two sons and back in those times, that meant that she pretty much lost her livelihood. What is your livelihood? Family? Career? Business? A talent? A dream? Times are different now, but there are things that make us who we are and like Naomi we get comfortable and believe nothing could go wrong. However, everything that could go wrong went wrong.

First, it is interesting that Naomi and her family went to Moab, because Israel and Moab did not have a friendly Image result for naomi and ruthrelationship and God had plenty to say about them throughout their history as well. Both Naomi and her husband were Israelites, but they left the people of God because of a famine and went and settled in unfamiliar territory for help where they probably should never have gone. Nevertheless, one can assume they didn’t trust God to keep His people in hard times, granted their story falls in the middle of when there was no king in Israel and people did whatever they wanted. Although, in the midst of all that happened, she was left with her two daughter-in-laws and was forced to go back home, learning that God was helping His people.

Naomi was a survivor and took whichever chance she had to keep her life in good standing, but it seems that she needed God to prove Himself to her that He could take care of her, and even after she returned home, she still wasn’t convinced. Not only had she changed her name from “pleasant” to “bitter,” but she made it known that God had let her down, and initially she wasn’t that fond of Ruth going back with her as if she wanted to sulk alone. Furthermore, she claimed that when she left home she was full, but it was the Lord who emptied her (and other lovely verbs), suggesting that she had no other expectations of God’s work in her situation than mere existence. But in fact, God had other plans.

By definition, you can’t blame Naomi or her family for the decisions they made and many of us have done the same thing. We make decisions in life, without ever really consulting or trusting God, even the “good” ones; we go with the flow without looking at things with spiritual eyes and we fill ourselves up and we lose focus on God’s plans, if we ever really knew what they were in the first place. This very thing happened to me. I never actually considered what God wanted for me vocationally, including my college studies, and it took a pouring out for me to get aligned; I had to be emptied. The Lord had to break me and take away my dream, my livelihood, of what I thought I was going to do with my life in order to open my eyes for His greater purpose, and by God’s grace, what I studied and experienced in school and other pieces of my life that seemed irrelevant fell in line with what He called me to do. Though, it was only His Spirit that could have revealed it to me, and I haven’t looked back.

For Naomi, she was bitter and had low-expectations, but little did she know that with all that had happened, the pieces of her past would bring her the greatest victory. Not only was Naomi apprehensive about Ruth, but it was the Lord who called Ruth, the Moabitess, into the lineage of the Lord Jesus. I can’t imagine that either of them knew God’s full plan, but Naomi was the first to notice things happening on their behalf when Ruth went to work, and hence, met Boaz. They were just trying to survive, but God chose them to change history.

Sometimes we have to start fresh when we get in dark places and go back to where we know God is, like when we have our “mountain top experiences” and we connect with God and lay our hearts out before Him, and ironically, Bethlehem, Naomi’s home, is in the mountains. So often we have to be broken and emptied in order for the Lord to build and fill us up again, which means whenever we get to the place where God is in our lives, we should live in high expectation that God will give us victory and conform our life to His best, which is always far greater than our own. In the same manner, we must ask for discernment and spiritual eyes so that we can recognize when God is moving in our lives in even the smallest ways, and if you are like me, I get so excited when I begin to see God working in the unnoticeable small ways, because I know that He is setting me up for something that is above I can hope for or imagine. So, as you be yourself for a purpose, if the Lord takes or is taking you through a breaking and pouring out season, let Him. By continually surrendering and letting the process happen, you are allowing God to pour back into you and fill you up with Heaven’s best.

 

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Never Too Early

This particular post was inspired by a conversation I had with someone yesterday. Before I begin, I must say that the conversation was a divine appointment in the bathroom (a lot of things happen in the bathroom), because I just went to charge my phone for a bit then get back to the event, and in the process a young lady I knew came in, that I had interacted with earlier. Long story short, I missed the rest of the event, but you know what? I didn’t care, God had set that bathroom forum up. He works in mysterious ways, which means we always have to be prepared.

Anyhow, as we were talking, one thing that stood out to me was toward the end of our conversation when she said that it was hard for her to let go of control and in one way or another said it was easier for me because I was older. It got me thinking. That is a mindset of a lot of people, specifically those of a younger generation. However, I find it disheartening that people have that mindset because there is no better time then the present to really pursue God and let Him guide your purpose. It makes sense though, because when you are young you feel that you have your whole life ahead of you before deciding to do one thing or another, particularly live a Christ-driven life. However, just hearing all the stories that are out in this crazy society, just in this country alone, life is precious and not promised to anyone, and there is no good reason to wait to get it together. Furthermore, there are so many others that are in fact pursuing their dreams and are doing it all in and they are being a shining light in this dark world. Therefore, if you don’t pursue and go after what God has special for you, someone else will get the task and your life will be empty, to be quite frank. The longer you wait the longer it will take for God to release on you all He has and wants to do by, through, and for you. Many times God is just waiting for us to come to Him and give Him the keys, which I found out to be the best decision I ever made.

As I remind myself and others, when I get to heaven I don’t want God to look at me and say “if only you had done this the first time I asked you” or “if only you would have let me love you” or “if only you had remained faithful” or “if only you didn’t give up.” How sad would that be?! Don’t wait to do what you know you have absolutely no good reason to not do now. God is waiting for you.Your purpose depends on it. It’s never too early to put into practice what you learned, because, those that did will tell you it’s not worth it. On the flip side, it’s never too late. God is awesome and can develop and bring out of you things you never knew to exist.

It’s never too early; you are never too young to start letting God transform your world by giving Him your all. It’s never too late; you are never to old to start letting God restore all that was lost.