I like to call myself ‘ginger’ because I like ‘doing’. For instance if for whatever reason I find myself in a tight corner, my next thoughts would be about how to escape to more pleasant circumstances. You can correctly say I don’t like trouble or stress at all.
Very recently, I was having a chit-chat with God in my mind, more like an open prayer. So it happened that I found myself in a kinda tight corner (remember, that’s the last place I like to be), and somewhere in my mind I was already thinking of how to escape the unpleasantness but I still decided to talk to God about it before making my move.
Then God led me to Jeremiah 42. Permit me to paraphrase the beginning part of that wisdom-full passage. ‘So apparently, the children of Israel had just finished a battle were they lost some of their men. After this BIG fight, the Israelites, as you can imagine were depressed, because they had suffered a great deal. They lost their men 🙁 . Then all the remaining army officers approached Jeremiah, the famous prophet of God and said to him: “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do” Jer 42:2-3.’
Like me, the Israelites had made up their minds – they were already on their way back to Egypt. Jer 41:17. On their way back to Egypt, again? YES. Are you kidding me? NO. LOL.
Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah ten days later “If you stay in this land, I’ll build you up and not tear you down; I’ll plant you and not uproot you, for I am grieved over the disaster I have inflicted on you. Do not be afraid of the King of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declared the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. I’ll show you compassion so that he’ll have compassion on you and restore to you your land” Jer 42:10-12.
When I read this verse, I knew God was talking to me. I believed so. The only problem now was He had said “If you’ll stay, I’ll build you up” which was 100% different from my plan. Amen? 🙂 . Nonetheless, I was very keen to read on. Then I read a verse that literally jolted me from my seat, the Israelites response to Jeremiah’s message “You’re lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon” Jer 43:2-3. I thought about that first phrase again “You’re lying!”. LMAO. Seriously??? Why did they accuse Jeremiah of lying? Simply because He told them God wanted them to stay and not flee to Egypt which was the direct opposite of what they had planned. For the full account, please read Jer 42 & 43. The NIV version is sweet 🙂 .
Then after I read this story, I made a resolve: I was going to believe, obey and do what God wanted me to do, even though it made no sense in the natural scheme of things. The more I made up my mind to please God, the more the devil tried to convince me otherwise because only then would it make sense to me. But I was smarter than that.
I thought that was all. Then few days after, I had a prompting to study the book of Ruth. My first response was “Ahh, that Ruth and Boaz’s story? I know it nau”. LMAO. I could imagine God shaking His head and still saying with a laugh “Trust Me. There’s a lot you don’t know. Just read it again”.
So I opened it and for the first time the beginning of Ruth made sense: “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelech, his wife’s name Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. Now Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. When she heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of His people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return from there” Ruth 1:1-6.
If you look at the above verses carefully, you’ll notice that God didn’t ask Elimelech to leave Judah despite the famine. I could imagine they were searching for ‘greener pastures’ which is not a bad idea (as long as we know God is in it). Like many of us, I feel sad that Naomi lost her husband and two sons 🙁 but now I cannot help but wonder “what if they had stayed in the land where they lived before despite the famine. What would have happened?”. Because according to verse 6 God eventually came to the ‘aid of His people by providing food for them’.
Are you at a crossroad where you need to make a major decision? If so, pause, talk to God about it and if He gives a response other than what you’d have loved to hear, chill and just “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths”. Pro 3:5-6. In the long run, we’ll be happy we did.