For I know the plans I have for you”— this is the Lord’s declaration — “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11. HCSB)
Do you ever look back at different times in your life and think about how things worked out? Ever notice if it was a time you were praying hard for something? What about times you didn’t pray? Did things work out?
There have been times when I prayed for God’s guidance and I can look back and see how He worked things out. When I was young in my prayer life, I sometimes could almost see it happening before my eyes.
As I have learned to develop a prayer life, I still find myself looking back at the crossroads of my life and playing the “What if” game. Every time I do, I think about the decisions I made and how I could have done something differently. Yet, every time, I can’t find a better solution to where I find my life now. Was God making things work out despite myself?
In the book of Ruth, we learn about a husband, wife, and two sons. They traveled to Moab to live. Then, the husband died and the two sons married Moabite women. Before having children, the sons died.
These three women were at a crossroad in their life. Naomi decided to return to her home country of Judah where she would be homeless and without a means to obtain food. After she and her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, were on their way, she stopped to try and persuade them to return home to their families.
Orpah and Ruth would be faced with the same situation as Naomi, only they would be foreigners and outcasts. If they stayed in Moab, they would have the chance to find new husbands and even have children.
Orpah was persuaded, but Ruth was not. She replied, “Do not persuade me to leave you or go back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May Yahweh punish me, and do so severely, if anything but death separates you and me. (Ruth 1:16-17 HCSB)
The book of Ruth doesn’t say anything about praying first, but that Ruth chose to stay with Naomi. We don’t know when Naomi’s husband died or when her sons died. Neither do we know how long the sons were married. We only know that Naomi’s family lived in Moab for about 10 years. I believe in the small amount of time Ruth was with this family, they showed her that God was the one true God. Maybe through actions, deeds, and a daily prayer life.
Ultimately, Ruth chose to follow God. It could have been through her devotion to Naomi, but look at the blessings Ruth received from the hardships of her life. If you continue to read Ruth, this is what happens. She found a cave for Naomi to stay in, found a field to collect leftover grain, which happened to be owned by a man who could marry her, was married, and had a grandchild for Naomi.
Ruth became one of the most important females in the bible. Her story is not devoted to a few chapters in the Bible but is a whole book. Also, she is listed as one of the women in the genealogy of Jesus. They didn’t list women unless it was important.
So, does that mean I don’t need to pray? Of course, not. Remember, I said before I learned to develop a prayer life God worked things out in my life. Sometimes we don’t know exactly how to pray for something. Sometimes we are faced with a decision and there is little time to think, much less pray about it.
Just like God knew deep down in Ruth’s heart she chose Him, God knows our deepest thoughts and needs. In the end, He will work things out the way they need to be for our good. But, we still need to develop our prayer life. It’s one of the ways we grow.
Lord, thank you for taking care of me in the times I didn’t think to pray or didn’t know how to pray. Thank you for bringing me to where I am now. Help me to keep my thoughts more on you in the future. Continue to guide my life.
Ruth became one of the most important females in the bible. Tweet This.
I still find myself looking back at the crossroads of my life and playing the “What if” game. Tweet This.