Most of us go through life experiencing situations through one of three different angles. The situations we experience in our lives make us bitter, keep us in the same place or make us better. God always has good in mind through the situations we all face. I am not saying the situations or experiences are always good, but good will always come out of them. The situation can make us stronger, teach us more patience, teach us how to love difficult people, test our endurance, draw us and our family closer to God and almost always teach us to trust in God more. But to come out of a situation or experience like that, we need to choose how we view it – is it going to make us bitter, better or stay the same.
One of my favourite stories in the Bible is the entire book of Ruth and in the introduction, it introduces us to three ladies. The first is Naomi, the second is Orpah and the last one is Ruth. Let’s look at their combined story first and then we will look at how they handled it. Naomi, her husband and two sons had left the land of Israel and had gone to live in a foreign land called Moab. Now Moab’s culture, religion and way of life were all different to the way the family had been living. Over the course of time, the boys had married local girls, then all the men in the family had died. That left the three ladies. Naomi had heard that prosperity was again to be found in Israel so she wanted to return. The other two decided to go with her and this is where the story divides.
Let’s look at Naomi first. Here she was in a strange land with no support. She made a decision to return to her homeland but when she arrived there, she asked her people to call her Marah which means bitter. Naomi looked at her experiences through the eyes of a bitter woman. All her family was gone or were they. Her support was gone or was it. Most times when bad situations happen to us, we focus on what we have lost instead of looking at what we have gained. You might say – what did she gain. She gained a daughter in law who forsook her family and all she knew to follow Naomi. This daughter in law supported her, loved her and in the end gave her an heir who was in the line of Jesus.
Now what about Orpah. This lady came to a crossroads in her life where it was time to make a decision. Do I follow Naomi or do I follow the same life that I have been used to? She ended up going back to her people and missing out on the blessing of God in her life. That was the last we heard of her. You don’t want to be stuck in same and miss out on the blessing.
Now Ruth – she was at the same crossroads as Orpah but decided to follow Naomi. She forsook her old life for one that sounded better. Naomi would have told both ladies of the stories of the Israelites. So what happened to Ruth. The blessing of God came on her life. She supported Naomi, then married Boaz and their child was in the line of Jesus. She also had a book of the Bible named not after her story but after her.
So, let’s look at our lives. Are we living in bitterness because things have not turned out right and as a result we are mad at God and mad at ourselves? Are we living in sameness becaus we are too afraid to go God’s way because we might lose something? Are we living in the blessing and favour of God because no matter how afraid we are, we would much rather do life God’s way.
Today, think about where you are on your journey. It is time to get better and not bitter or the same. An abundant life is waiting for you. You need to determine that you just want it. Have a great week!