Day 24: Do you ever wish you could {revise} a chapter from your life?

“Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.  Isaiah 43:18-19 esv

{Revise} – make corrections, change, or edit.  A do-over.

Who, if offered, wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to revise a particular moment in their life story?  Don’t we all have regrets?  Isn’t it so much easier to look back with hindsight and edit our choices?  At some point in the game, don’t we all wish to call for a time-out to review the previous play hoping for an opportunity to replay the down?revise Ruth 4

I have plenty of scenarios to which my mind races when the “what if” monster comes to play with my emotions.  If God were to give me the opportunity to go back and make edits in my life script, I feel sure I would be tempted to say yes.  However, when regret threatens to hold me hostage over a past course of action, I remember a conversation I had with my paternal grandfather.

I was a youngster of 9 years or so and the conversation revolved around my parents’ choice to elope.  It was the summer of 1961, they were young – 17 & 19 – in love and wanted to marry.  Permission from my mom’s parents was granted, but not so for my dad’s parents – and so they made a life choice.  It was a choice over which my grandfather was expressing his desire for them to wait – “Just two years”, he said.

My response to my grandfather was this, “But grandpa if they had waited two more years, you wouldn’t have us as your grandchildren.”  His instant response was that we would simply be two years younger with a pat on my head.  The conversation ending response came from my mouth, though I’ve often wondered if it was Holy Spirit teaching us both a lesson,  “Grandpa, I don’t think it works like that.”

Today pondering “the rest of the story” of Ruth, Boaz and Naomi I wonder if anywhere in the ten plus years through the famine and back home to the return of the harvest season if Naomi wished she had made different choices.  Did she hold regrets over leaving Bethlehem – she and her men?  Was there a time along the way she wished her sons had not married Moabite women?  I just wonder… did she ever wish for a do-over.  “What if” God had placed an editor’s pen in her hand.

So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife.  And he went into her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.  Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!  He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”  Ruth 4:13-15revise

Simple, right?  If Naomi were given the opportunity to go back and {revise} her story, this would not be the well-known redemptive love story in which so many of us delight, and from which much truth is gleaned.

God gave us the opportunity to live in perfection without regret in His beautiful garden called Eden.  Because of a choice made by God’s created man and woman, we all now live with the temptation to regret, a desire to {revise} our own stories – to make our stories the one we wished we had.

Thankfully, our redemption doesn’t come through our own re-writes for who among us is able to know the mind of God or to see how the messy of our story magnifies His greatness and majesty.  Grateful Lord, I am this morning, grateful, You know when and where and how we will walk out of the famine season and into the return of the harvest You have already planted for us.

Ponders:

  • I wonder – do you also have a story you are tempted to wish you could revise?
    • Would you talk out the scenario with Jesus today?  Will you honestly pour out your desire to revise your story?
    • And will you listen for His response?  Take note of Holy Spirit’s ideas about your story, how He sees you in the middle of your story and let Him teach you His way of redemption.
  • I am reminded this morning of Jesus’ words in Mark 2:22:  “…And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
    • This word reminds me God’s redemptive work in me is to fashion me as a new creation ready for Holy Spirit to take up residence in me.  God is not so much about revising us as He is about creating new.
    • Is there a need in your life to surrender your old wineskin and allow God to create you new?  Would you like to cry out with King David, and me too, the life-giving words of Psalm 51?
      • “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me…  Restore to me the JOY of Your salvation…”

Eyes on Jesus… you’re Shining!

~Lisa

 

Day 20: How can we {discover} streams in the desert?

 

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!  How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!  Romans 11:33 hcsb

{Discover}

What does it mean to discover?

To search out. To seek to find.  I think of Christopher Columbus.  With Thanksgiving coming soon, I think of the Pilgrims.  A people looking for something not known before, not understood before.   discover fmf

In a legal sense, discovery is researching a situation, the details of a transaction or a business to unearth, bring forth additional information for disclosure in the public arena.  The purpose is to add meaning, clarification, and context for deciding, concluding, or coming to an agreement between two parties or with a third party mediator on a legal matter.

This sense of holding court is what I see as I read and ponder with Holy Spirit as my guide in these first six verses of Ruth 4.  See what you think…

Boaz went to the town gate and took a seat there. Just then the family redeemer he had mentioned came by, so Boaz called out to him, “Come over here and sit down, friend. I want to talk to you.” So they sat down together.  Then Boaz called ten leaders from the town and asked them to sit as witnesses.  And Boaz said to the family redeemer, “You know Naomi, who came back from Moab. She is selling the land that belonged to our relative Elimelech.  I thought I should speak to you about it so that you can redeem it if you wish. If you want the land, then buy it here in the presence of these witnesses. But if you don’t want it, let me know right away, because I am next in line to redeem it after you.”

The man replied, “All right, I’ll redeem it.”

Then Boaz told him, “Of course, your purchase of the land from Naomi also requires that you marry Ruth, the Moabite widow. That way she can have children who will carry on her husband’s name and keep the land in the family.”

“Then I can’t redeem it,” the family redeemer replied, “because this might endanger my own estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it.”  Ruth 4:1-6 nlt

I am in awe as I ponder the true meaning of what is being discussed by Boaz and the man who is a nearer kinsman to Naomi and Ruth.  All throughout the book of Ruth I’ve had a feeling of such desperation, the depth of loss and hopelessness for Naomi.  Certainly, Naomi and Ruth both suffered terrible heartbreak and grief through the loss of their husbands.  There’s no denying it!pablo (70)

The agricultural truth of the famine seems an appropriate metaphor for Naomi and Ruth’s lives until they settle back home in Bethlehem.  The famine has ended and the Lord has brought a harvest to feed His people and remind them of His great love and mercy.

And there it is for Naomi and Ruth, too.  As Boaz explained in the public square, the women are not without hope or resources.  Naomi had a piece of land to sell.  She had resources, but Naomi needed someone to speak up for her – to plead her case and to bring the transaction to fulfillment.  Boaz, not the nearest kinsman, was willing to bring the matter into full discovery on Naomi and Ruth’s behalf.

Please don’t misunderstand.  Don’t let the enemy deceive with lies.  There was no amount of property, possessions or money, which would ever replace the lives and relationships lost.  And yet, we see God taking ashes and bringing forth beauty.  He has taken mourning and is bringing into discovery for Naomi and Ruth – JOY.

Ponders:

Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
    the thirsty ground bubbling springs.  Isaiah 35:6-7

I wonder friend, in what wilderness place are you currently traveling, which might cause you to seek God’s face for the discovery of a stream?  In what scorching desert scenery, where bones dry and become weary, do you find yourself wondering if all has been lost?

  • I’m there with you.  Walking a dry, wilderness walk on this part of my faith journey, but it is in this very place we are prompted to seek, to search out the Living Water of Jesus.
    • What does your desert wilderness look like?  Will you write about it?  Take a walk with Jesus and tell Him what you see with human, veiled eyes?
    • Will you join me in making Isaiah 35:6-7 our prayer of anticipation – our prayer of hope?  Will we turn our eyes toward the Lord and ask Him to unveil our earthly eyes and see with spirit eyes He is near?
    • Will you join me in asking Holy Spirit to give new discovery today through the Word of God?  Through experiences with people?  Through conversation with Him and listening intently for His loving direction?
    • What have you discovered today?  What unexpected treasure has He unearthed with you today?  Will you share it with us here?

Eyes on Jesus… you’re Shining!

~Lisa