Aug. 2, 2009
“Then she (Naomi) arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread.”
Ruth 1: 6
King James Version
“Look For the Feast During the Famine”
“The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
During the most difficult times in my life, what blessings from God did I overlook or take for granted?
“We have forgotten the gracious Hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”
“Taken separately, the experiences of life can work harm and not good. Taken together, they make a pattern of blessing and strength the like of which the world does not know.”
V. Raymond Edman
Medical specialists have made charts that give numeric values for different types of situations each of us face at one time or another in our lives. When added together, the numerical total provides a physician or psychologist with an indicator of how much stress an individual is under.
Events such as the death of a spouse or a big move or sudden illness, rank high in point value. When these unexpected catastrophes happen all at once, our ability to successfully navigate the tidal wave of tragedy becomes extremely challenging, to say the least.
If we were to add up the points that made up the mountain of trouble faced by Naomi, it would be easy to come to the conclusion it must have been nearly impossible for this dear lady to survive the crisis situations which came upon her, one after another.
First, by moving from Bethlehem where her family lived, Naomi lost her support system – both friends and family. Then she lost her husband in a foreign country and finally both her children died. At this point in time, I think I might have let out a big scream, “Life’s not worth living anymore!”
How about you? What would you have done had you been stuck in Naomi’s shoes? Talk about living a life that resembled a famine! The locusts had consumed everything alive and the hail had smashed what was left, so to speak!
With no one to provide for her, I rather think Naomi felt as though she were at the end of her rope. Quite frankly, I think all of us at one time or another have found ourselves in the same boat as Naomi.
Two years after our car accident, having spent four months in the hospital and a year in wheelchairs, Jim and I had to endure the loss of his mother to lung cancer, his sister to pancreatic cancer and my grandmother to heart problems. At the same time, our financial world was turned upside down and my sister was living through the nightmare of an extremely contentious divorce. It wasn’t a good time in my life. I will freely admit – a famine was in the land! There were days I feared answering the phone, thinking it would be more bad news.
You may be going through the same thing in your life right now. I read every prayer request and I know for a fact that the financial, emotional and physical challenges that are hitting so many of you, have nearly swamped you. Like Naomi, there’s a famine in your land and life looks very bleak.
Let me ask you this. Would it upset you if I told you that in reality, even in the midst of the mess in Moab Naomi had a lot to be thankful for? In fact, she really did have many blessings in her life. It appears Naomi had her own good health. What’s more, she had two daughters-in-law who loved her dearly. She had food to eat, air to breathe and water to drink. Furthermore, she had family and friends in Bethlehem and someone got word to her that God’s blessings were showering down on The House of Bread. The famine in Bethlehem was over. Right in the middle of a terrible time of lack in Moab, God called Naomi back home where He had plenty stored up for her along with a life she had never even dreamed about.
In the middle of Naomi’s famine in Moab, God had spread a banquet feast for her back in Bethlehem. All Naomi had to do was follow God’s leading. And tomorrow, we’ll walk with Naomi as she entered a new world – leaving the land of famine to go live in a land of feasting.
Who knows, the famine that’s in your land today may be setting the stage for the feast God has for you tomorrow. For whenever I think back to the days of famine Jim and I faced several years ago, and then I look at where God has taken us since those painful days, I rejoice daily that out of a famine came a feast I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams. A feast that includes a host of new girlfriends in over 160 countries around the world. A feast called Transformation Garden that had its beginning during the days of famine in Moab! Trust me when I say, “God’s going to take your famine and turn it into a feast of plenty.” He’s already at work right now!
I want to share this beautiful prayer of encouragement with you. As you wait for release from the famine in your life, remember who is walking by your side and in whose arms you can safely abide:
“O My Lord, in thine arms I am safe; keep me and I have nothing to fear; give me up, and I have nothing to hope for. I know nothing about the future, but I rely upon Thee. I pray Thee to give me what is good for me; I pray Thee to take from me whatever may imperil my salvation. I leave it all to Thee, because Thou knowest and I do not. If thou bringest pain or sorrow on me, give me grace to bear it well, keep me from fretfulness and selfishness. If Thou givest me health and strength and success in this world, keep me ever on my guard lest these great gifts carry me away from Thee. Give me to know Thee, to believe on Thee, to love Thee, to serve Thee, to live to and for Thee.”
John Henry Newman
“Have you ever thought that in every action of grace in your heart you have the whole omnipotence of God engaged to bless you?”
“May the everlasting Father, Himself, take you in His own generous clasp, in His own generous arm.”
My God, I Thank Thee
“My God, I thank Thee, who has made
The earth so bright,
So full of splendor and of joy,
Beauty and light;
So many glorious things are here,
Noble and right.
I thank Thee, too, that Thou hast made
Joy to abound,
So many gentle thoughts and deeds
Circling us around
That in the darkest spot of earth
Some love is found.
I thank Thee more that all our joy
Is touched with pain,
That shadows fall on brightest hours,
That thorns remain,
So that earth’s bliss may be our guide,
And not our chain.
I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast kept
The best in store:
We have enough, yet not too much
To long for more –
A yearning for a deeper peace
Not known before.
I thank Thee, Lord, that here our souls,
Though amply blest,
Can never find, although they seek,
A perfect rest,
Nor ever shall, until they lean
On Jesus’ breast.”
Adelaide Anne Proctor
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit: www.direct2church.com or email [email protected].
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.