This was the last week of May and I wanted to finish my women of The Bible series. I was talking to God one night, and I asked “Lord there are so many women of The Bible that I want to write about, but I want to write about the one you WANT me to write about. The one that you think people NEED to hear about.” As soon as I finished, He said Ruth.
Many of you know Ruth to be the iconic love story in the Bible. She was married to Boaz. Boaz was the man that saw something special in her and knew that he couldn’t be without this woman. But, I’m not here to write about their love story, maybe, I will write about it in February during the “love” month!
Let’s take a look back at Ruth’s story. Naomi was married to Elimelech; they had moved to Moab after leaving Bethlehem due to famine. Bethlehem (house of bread) was the Promised Land and Moab was a pagan land. It is in Moab where one of Naomi’s sons marries Ruth, and the other marries Orpah.
Naomi loses not only her husband but both of her sons in Moab.
The place that was supposed to be their new start became a place of pain and hurt. Here we have Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah all facing pain and hurt due to the deaths in the family. The men were the ones who provided, and now that they are gone, they are left with nothing. They now have to fend for themselves.
At this point, Naomi wants to go back to Bethlehem. The two daughter-in-law’s start to follow her, but Orpah ends up turning back to Moab. Ruth being the loyal one, decides to still follow Naomi. Now Moab was Ruth’s hometown, this is where her family and friends were, but she still chose to leave her “comfort zone” to follow what she felt was the right thing to do.
I say all of this to say; sometimes you have to leave your “comfort zone” and your place of “hurt” to walk into your next season; a season of favor, a season of grace, a season of provision. Orpah went back to Moab, a place of hurt and she wasn’t heard about after. But, you hear about Naomi and Ruth and the legacy that they built for following God.
Ruth had to decide to stay in her hurt and pain or follow what was stirring in the inside of her spirit. She wanted something different, she wanted something new, and she was willing to leave it all behind to follow Naomi’s lead and hope that her new start was in Bethlehem.
Sometimes you have to “act” on something before the Lord can release your provision to you. God will sometimes test you to see if you trust him enough to leave the old behind and enter into the new season He has for you. Now, this may not mean leaving a city, or a state; this may mean leaving a circle of friends, a church, a job, an old way of thinking, or doing things, choosing to forgive, or laying your pride down. Whatever it is, when you truly trust God at all costs, that is when He will show up in your life and bless your sacrifice. God knows your heart, “He will give you your heart’s desire.” Psalm 37:4 NASB
You have to want the NEW and do whatever it takes to get there. Once Ruth “acted” and left her whole life behind, God blessed her beyond her imagination. She met the right people that ushered her into her new season. She met a man who loved her and cared for her and provided for not only her, but who came with her.
God can only bless you beyond your yes or your no. Your yes to Him can mean your next season is right around the corner. But, that doesn’t mean stopping and turning back because you decided you couldn’t walk into the new. Don’t be Orpah who is stuck in the past and not willing to move forward into something new that could be so great. Be Ruth and get all that the Lord has for you.
Will it be easy?! No! But, will it be worth it?! Yes! Especially if pleasing God is your number one priority.
My life has always been about pleasing God. I told the Lord that I would follow Him despite the costs. Many people don’t understand my life and following the call of God. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to leave my family, my friends, miss important events, but what makes it all worth it for me is knowing that I’m in the will of God. It’s not for other people to understand, because they won’t, but it’s about me pleasing God and being obedient to Him.
Every time God tells me to go, I kick, and I fight, until I have no fight in me and I finally say yes I will go. I have to pick up and start over every time, but every time I start over, He blesses me with more. So, let this be your encouragement to start new, to start over, and leave the old behind. I promise if you follow God to Bethlehem, He will give you provision, favor, and grace. Sacrifices don’t come without a cost, but they come with great favor and provision.