(Ruth 1:19-22) “So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me. So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.”
Allow yourself to be emptied through your trials. Naomi and her husband left Bethlehem when the famine came; they left due to fear. Fear set in, they gave into it and ran instead of staying in faith and trusting God to provide. (Hebrews 11:6) “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” They chose to react in fear and in their own self-will they left Bethlehem. The Hebrew meaning of Bethlehem is “place of bread,” in running, in reacting in fear they were walking away from their “bread,” walking away from their trust in the Lord who is “the Bread of Life” and the Lord says, (Matthew 12:30) “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”
As a child of God we must go through the valley, not run from it. It is in the valleys of life that we are pruned and the weeds of our heart are uprooted by the Lord. Our faith grows and we learn who we are in Christ and who He is to us. (James 1:2-5) “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” In verse 21 it says she came back empty. If we allow the Lord to empty us in our trials and learn from them instead of getting bitter the process will go a lot quicker and we will die to self. Less of self and more of Him allows HIM to shine through us. (Philippians 1:21) “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
It is in dying to our own self will that we can be filled to the uttermost with Christ so it is only Christ that shines from within us to a hurting world! (Ephesians 5:18) “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” When you finally surrender all, die to self and submit yourself completely to God it is then that the Holy Spirit will flow from within you affecting change to everyone around you! (John 7:38) “Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
Fear not when trials and storms arise! Don’t run from them! Naomi came back empty and while it was sad that she lost her husband and sons, she came back with Ruth who would be in the lineage of Jesus Christ. A Savior birthed, the harvest just beginning!
Do not be afraid when trials arise because you never know just what God will birth in you through them! Allow the Lord to teach you and grow you as you walk through them and when you come out the light of Christ will shine from within to the world around you!
(Matthew 5:14-16) “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
I Died Today
Lifeless in Your hands, You carry me.
I am dead to the world and to my flesh
that You may live free in me.
I have fought and wrestled against the struggles
in my heart, wanting all the pain to be free from me.
The answers to my pain You already knew.
There was only one thing that I needed to do.
Yet I struggled on, trying in my own way and
praying in desperation. The fight continued on;
my heart truly broken. I cry out, “Please God,
show me Your way!”
You knew the way and were patient with my stubborn heart;
fighting for it’s own way and failing to see it Yours.
Weary from the pain and the trials that wore me out; I fall
lifeless into Your hands. The path broke my heart.
I finally died today. My will inside me gone.
It’s buried with my pain and in Your hands I lay.
My heart cries out, “I’m tired Lord, there’s no
more fight, my heart struggles no more.”
To my amazement, the peace I sought finally came.
When to my will I died and I called to You and gave myself.
My heart will never be the same.
That was the way all along. For God is great and His way
is best. We must die to self and seek His grace;
in us let His glory be revealed that we may see His face.
He’ll wait patiently to hear us say, “Lord, not my will,
but Thy will be done.” His peace will come and you
will never be the same. When in your heart His
presence known you will shine; His glory known
in Jesus name.