Friday, January 27, 2012
Since becoming a widow I have often looked at Ruth as my hero, my model. I relate so much to her that I named this blog after her. But Naomi who is also a widow, I have overlooked. My pastor shared how Naomi left the land of Judah during a famine, hard times, and went to a foreign country called Moab. While there her sons married Moabite women, which was against the Jewish law. During their time in Moab, Naomi's husband and both sons died. When she heard report that things had turned around in Judah, she journeyed back. She said "I went out full, but the Lord has brought me home again empty" (Ruth 1:21).
I have been struggling recently with a decision. I believe God is prompting me to give up the last of my possessions: my house. It is a very hard thing for me. I truly love my house. I have told several people that my house is all I have left. That because of the issues present in my family before my late husband's passing, I had lost everything I dreamed of. And this house, my dream house, was all that remained. Not to mention all the belongings I have to fill it. Intellectually and financially it makes sense to down size, but my heart is struggling with this decision.
So as I hear these words of Naomi's in class, I started to cry. I can relate to what she has experienced, and the impact of her words are a sobering truth. I left the land of Judah full, and I have been wandering in this foreign land of Moab, where I have encountered hardships, trials and loss, just as Naomi did. And now the time has come. God is calling me back to Judah, back to the land where He has a promise for me. Back to the place where His hand is stretched out to give blessing. But am I willing to meet the requirement to come back empty?
Naomi returned to Judah and what ensued was a blessing no man could have conjured, or even predicted. By the means of her daughter in law, Ruth, Naomi is restored. She is given a family, and provided for. She experiences a blessing far greater than if she had stayed in Moab. Her decedents included King David, and Jesus!
As I ponder Naomi's story I realize God is calling me to come back to Him, empty. To close the door on my time in Moab, leave it all behind and let Him create a new story from my life. He is asking me, "Jenn, will you follow me? Will you give up all that you have, all your possessions? Will you serve me? Or will you worship your house; your mark of achievement? Chose today who you will serve, your house or the one true God who has a much greater end in sight for you than you can imagine."
I went out full, but the Lord has called me to return to Him empty. And I will gladly give up all I have to follow Him.