Have you ever taken a leap of faith in life only to find yourself without a parachute? Major changes in career, location, or even relationships made on a whim can seem favorable but turn out disastrous. We’ve all heard the phrase, “fortune favors the bold,” but often what was meant to be an improvement leaves us worse off than we were in the first place.
Sometimes God allows us to jump without a parachute. Still, He always catches us and brings us safely back where He wants us. We see a perfect example of God’s protection and redirection in the book of Ruth.
There was a man who lived in Judah in a time when that nation wasn’t really living up to its promises. He left, with his wife Naomi and two sons, to live in Moab, choosing a life of abundance and security with God’s enemies over a life of hardship with the people of God. The Bible gives the impression that this move was intended to be short-term; they would only stay if the circumstances in Moab were better than those in Israel.
However, when we abandon God’s plan, we usually end up with unintended and unexpected consequences. For Naomi and her family, days turned into years, and years turned to a full decade away from God’s chosen place for them. Naomi’s husband and her two sons died while living in Moab, leaving her with nothing to her name but two Moabite daughters-in-law. As a widow, she was vulnerable and alone in a strange land, with no means of support.
Naomi had to bear the weight of her husband’s decision to take the easy path. Still, God did not forsake her! He made a way for her to return to her homeland. She returned empty-handed, but she was finally back in the safety of God’s providence.
Hardships that result from bad decisions are God’s invitation to come back home! No matter how far you’ve strayed, you can always let go of your failures, return to God, and begin again with His design for your life.
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