Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of life, for blessings of each day, and the people placed in our lives. Thank you Almighty God for being a present help when we are faced with the adversities which have been sent to break us. Thank you Lord for your presence and for supplying our every need, for enabling us to have peace in all situations and storms, which honestly surpasses all understanding. Thank you Lord for making your word accessible to us all and for making the time and space to hear our prayers even though so many speak to you at once, you still listen to us individually. Thank you for growth and the wisdom you share with us. Thank you Lord for pursuing us all in love and for every pure and good intention you have towards your people. Lord you are the only one who can make a mess into a message,and you are able to make something beautiful blossom out of the hardships we are faced with in life. Lord thank you for the blood of Christ Jesus, which has given us the chance to walk in newness of life and to be freed from darkness. Almighty God, I pray you will continue to strengthen your people and bring light to the darkest of places and mindsets. Help us to walk in the liberty you have given to us and to adhere to your will for our lives.
In Jesus Name Amen.
There has been so much hurt, pain, blame, grief and adversity in so many people’s lives in the past few months. People dying in horrific and unusual ways. Every time you seem to turn on the news, there seems to be a new incident which has occurred.
What can we do when adversity seems to be knocking at the door and you can’t escape it? People are growing more concerned about where is safe and what they can do to protect themselves and the people they love. How do we continue to live everyday life when all we seem to be plagued with, is incident after incident? How do we deal with the pieces that are left and when your hurt is no longer front line news anymore.
This season of my life has been one of the most difficult times, I have ever been faced with this far, losing my brother was an unexpected shock to us all. It makes you re-evaluate every aspect of your life as it gives you a reminder, time is precious and we don’t know when our time here is done.
Grief is weird! One minute your making all these plans, going about your day to day life then just in a blink of a moment, everything suddenly changes. Then you get all these lovely messages and people visit you, and then your crazy busy making funeral arrangements and that becomes your focal point. Your work place tells you how much compassionate leave you are able to take, to process. Then the day of the funeral comes, after that day you are expected to get back to your life before everything changed.
Life literally does not wait for anyone, you may feel like you just want to pause, hide away, escape but the sun continues to rise and the days continue to pass. As I was adjusting to normal life, I asked God what should I read in this season, I was led to the book of Ruth.
Ruth is about more than ‘finding your Boaz’! In fact through studying Ruth, I realized you can draw encouragement from Ruth’s journey when dealing with sudden terror, grief and adversity.
Quick Breakdown- Story Time: Book of Ruth, chapter 1.
Naomi was originally from Bethlehem but migrated to Moab during the famine in their land with her husband and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. The Moabites (people of Moab) and the Ephrathites (people of Bethlehem), did not get on at that time, it must have been extreme circumstances for Naomi’s family to consider moving there. Naomi’s sons married Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah.
Sadly Naomi’s husband died and then not long after her two sons died as well. Naomi was left with her two daughter in laws in a land which was not her original home. Naomi, Ruth and Orpah were now left to deal with their loss.
Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
Looking at these three women: Ruth, Naomi and Oprah. We can see different ways of dealing with adversity, today I will be focusing on Ruth.
Naomi was really struggling to cope with all the loss she was faced with, she left her hometown with her husband and made a life for herself in Moab, where she raised her two sons. Naomi then found herself in a place which no longer felt like home because everything she had built, in a moment changed. Widows at this time were frowned upon, Naomi no longer knew what she had to offer to her daughter in laws, as she felt her loss, stripped away her identity. Naomi could not see past her own hurt and tried to push her daughter in laws away and she felt God had abandoned her in her time of need. Naomi found her self needing to rediscover her identity and her definition of home.
I went out full, and the Lord brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?
The way Ruth carried herself was truly mind blowing. Often people focus on Naomi or if we speak of Ruth, we talk about her finding her Boaz. However Ruth was also experiencing hardship, her husband died and she was left with no children. Naomi was pushing her away and was absorbed with her own grief, to notice Ruth was hurting too. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, and did not want her daughter in laws to come with her. Naomi wanted Ruth to find a new husband in Moab and to be happy and have children. Orpah decided to remain in Moab, but Ruth refused to leave Naomi. Ruth chose to walk in love and displayed loyalty to Naomi and journeyed to Naomi’s hometown.
But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you ; For wherever you go, I will go; And whenever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people, shall be my people. And your God, my God.’
Ruth was told to return home, but she was in the process of redefining what home was to her. Her sister in law abandoned her, and she found herself leaving her hometown to migrate to a place that was not welcoming to a Moabite women, who was also a widow. Ruth was leaving her family, friends and place of familiarity behind to venture to a place where she didn’t know she would be accepted. Ruth was willing to give up the possibility of security and children in order to care for Naomi. Regardless of how bleak the situation seemed in the physical realm, and looked like no fruit could come from her decision. Ruth chose love instead of self pity. Ruth did not focus on the stacks which were against her but chose faith and had a full assurance about her decision. Ruth chose to rise!
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me.
Yes! Ruth did end up meeting her Boaz, but actually I would say the book of Ruth demonstrates God’s capacity to bring redemption and restoration to our lives. God will bring something beautiful out of what seems to be a mess. Ruth became apart of the lineage of Christ, she was king David’s great grandmother.
In the midst of our pain and when things seem bleak our God provides the strength for us to rise and conquer the battle which tries to make us give up. My God brings light to darkness. He is the lamp to our feet.
When you lose someone/ something special the process of re-evaluation begins, your morals and what you stand for are tested. You enter unknown territory and are forced to rediscover who you are and what you bring to the table. We ultimately have the choice to decide if we will fight or give up. How we face the challenge, displays what is in our heart.
Teach us to realize the beauty of life. So that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Even to your old age, I am He, And even to grey hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.
God doesn’t promise a world free of danger, but he does promise His help whenever we face danger. God is a present help, He is not a far off God, He is a personal God.
We find out the true value of God’s presence in the midst of storms. There is joy, hope, peace, love and comfort in God’s presence. It’s through the presence of God that we can rise after a fall and keep going. God will carry you when you are feeling weak and will continue to supply your needs.