IT'S NOT OVER YET.
Disclaimer: I tried to come up with some creative name for this one, but fell short and was left with this one phrase in my head over and over – “It’s Not Over Yet.” I am not confident why this clear, but not clever, title is resounding in my mind right now, but all I know is that God told me someone needs to hear this. So, for that one person, this post is for you.
A few years ago, as a young, college-aged girl, everyone told me to “wait for my Boaz.” I heard joke after joke about how not to wait for the “Broke-az,” or the “Lonely-az,” or the “Mean-az,” but to wait for my Boaz. This reference comes out of the book of Ruth in the old testament – and that is all I had really known the book for. Just 4 short chapters that I thought were a grand love story about a widowed young woman and a strong, farm-owning man. But God challenged me this week to read these old stories with new eyes. That could be a post all in itself! Let’s look at old things with new eyes and see what God has to say about them.
Anyways, so I took the challenge and sat down this week to re-read Ruth. Now, let me be honest. I wasn’t feeling like I would get much out of this process. I mean, I am not looking for love (I am already married), and I wasn’t really sure what purpose this could have, but I’m not one to argue with God. So I sat and I read. Chapter-by-chapter, I read as my eyes saw a whole new perspective of this story. I read and my mind was overwhelmed with the goodness of God. Unexpectedly, He highlighted a new piece of this story to me. Friends, this isn’t just a love story about Ruth and Boaz – it’s a love story about God and His daughters.
In the beginning of Ruth 1, we find that Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah are walking through an extremely difficult situation. Naomi’s husband just died, and Ruth and Orpah are her daughters-in-law – who also just lost their husbands. All the men in this family have passed, and these three widows are left to figure out what to do next. To keep it quick, Orpah goes back to her family to find another husband (not unusual), but Ruth chooses to stay with Naomi. This surprising choice shows Ruth’s heart and the bond between them.
Chapter 1 is filled with Naomi’s emotions. Her life just came crumbling down and she feels like everything is falling apart. She feels like God has abandoned her and that all hope is lost. In fact, in Ruth 1:20, Naomi says (very dramatically, I might add), “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty.” To give explanation, the name ‘Naomi’ means ‘pleasant’ and ‘Mara’ means ‘bitter’. Naomi was feeling abandoned and forgotten – but let us remember that FEELINGS DON’T ALWAYS EQUAL TRUTH.
Feeling don’t always equal truth.
Fast forward to chapter 2 – where Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem and proceed to try to find a field that they can glean food from. Ruth seeks out a field that allows this, and it just “happens” to be the field of a a relative of Naomi’s late husband – Boaz. I am sure you’ve heard the rest of the story, Boaz looks out for Ruth, finds favor with her, and Naomi and Ruth are able to find provision when they walked into town having none.
The part that jumped out at me most in chapter 2 was verse 20 where Naomi said…”May he [Boaz] be blessed by the LORD, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead.”
Wait, what? In Ruth 1:20, Naomi said God had forsaken her and dealt bitterly with her, and in Ruth 2:20, her entire disposition changed.
Your story is not over – you’re just not to chapter 2 yet.
When I read through these pieces of the story, God highlighted so much to me. He never left Naomi, she just felt like He did. He never abandoned or forsook her, she just felt like He did. God hasn’t left you, even though it may feel like it. God hasn’t abandoned you, it just may feel like it. And it may feel like chapter 1 is the end of the story – but let me encourage you that there is more. There is more that God has for you in this place. There is more that God is teaching you in this place. And you are MUCH stronger than you think you are in the midst of this – because it’s not over yet.
So this post is for the one person who needs to hear “It’s not over yet.” For the person struggling to understand what the next step is. For the person who just walked out of a difficult, hurtful, and devastating situation and is standing in the middle of the field, naked and alone, crying out to God to do something. This is for the person who doesn’t fully understand what God is doing in the present-time, and who needs to hear some sort of encouragement over their circumstances. This is for you. It’s not over yet.
There is hope in Him. There is peace in Him. There is provision in Him. There is security in Him. There is love in Him. Seek these things out from God, and ask Him for the comfort and reassurance that He is who He says He is.