Have you ever found yourself in a place in life that was absent of Judah (praise)? While if we just think and examine close enough, there is always something for which to be grateful. But life can throw you some blows that shroud the goodness around you. The book of Ruth tells the story of one such woman, named Naomi.
In an attempt to avoid famine in her hometown, Naomi traveled with her husband and sons to Moab. During her time there she lost her husband and eventually her two sons. Left widowed, alone, and hopeless in a foreign land. Yet she heard the news of God blessing in her hometown and made the decision to go back home.
Although she was going back to a place she had been before, she wasn’t the same. Her condition had changed. She went out married and came back widowed. She went out with children and came back childless. She left full of hope but was returning hopeless. She was coming back bitter, full of sorrow, and blaming God for her plight.
Like Naomi, I have encountered changes during my life journey. Changes that were for the worse instead of better. Changes that led me back to square one again. Only this time my heart wasn’t as open as before. I wasn’t as hopeful as before. I wasn’t rehearsing His goodness as before. Why? Because I thought I heard God, but it didn’t turn out the way I expected. Or because I experienced loss or disappointment.
Each of our lives have episodes of loss, disappointment, grief, bad decision-making but our stories don’t have to end there. All the while Naomi was going about trying to survive, God was orchestrating a plan. He was ushering her back to a place in life, one that she couldn’t even conceive in her own mind, that was leading to hope and praise. And He’s doing that for you and me. All the times I cried about loss, I didn’t readily see that He would bring new experiences, which would lead me back to hope, faith, and love again.
God is one who is in the details of our lives. He is in the midst of our everyday affairs, and He can make sense of all the randomness.