MOVING BEYOND THE PAINS OF YOUR YESTER YEARSSep 07, 2021 2021-08-24 9:56
MOVING BEYOND THE PAINS OF YOUR YESTER YEARS
MOVING BEYOND THE PAINS OF YOUR YESTER YEARS
By the time you reach your middle years, you would have passed through a lot of experiences in life. Some pleasant, others not so pleasant. Life would have happened in many ways. You would have made choices that you have come to regret, you would have taken decisions that looking back now you wish you hadn’t. There would be many lost opportunities, failed relationships, broken dreams and losses. Midlife can be a rude awakening for many of us. It can leave you stuck in a place of regret and despair. How do you get past the pains and regrets of your yester years? How can you let go of your past and move on with your future? The story of Naomi and Ruth in the bible offers some useful tips that you can apply.
Naomi left Judah, her home country with her husband, Elimelech and two sons Mahlon and Chilion to the Country of Moab, due to famine that was ravaging the land. Whilst there, Naomi’s journey of pain began. Her husband died. Her two sons married Moabite women (Orpah and Ruth). Then her two sons died. She was left with two Moabite women in a strange land. Then she decided to go back and one of her daughter in-laws, Ruth insisted on going with her.
The first thing Naomi did was to return to Judah, to the God of Israel. In that adversity, look to God. Return and stay in the place where you connect intimately with God. Do not let that pain drive you away from God. Return to your first love. In the place of your first love, you will be strengthened, sustained, and restored. Returning to your first love would require you to put everything else aside and be still in God’s presence. It would require you to focus solely on Him, letting Him be your priority. Our spiritual antennae are very sensitive during times of pain. Stay at the feet of Jesus and let Him show you the purpose of that pain.
Do not deny the pain. A lot of times we live in self-denial. We say it is well when it isn’t. As Naomi got back, they said, is this Naomi, she didn’t pretend. She said, ‘do not call me Naomi, call me Mara’, for The Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. Mara means bitter or sad. If it were some of us, we will hide under our makeup and say it’s well and all the Christian cliches we use. We fake it to make it. Until our makeup leads to our total breakup.
Look out for your Ruth. There’s always someone that God has positioned to walk with you through your journey of pain, to support you, hold your hand. Usually, what happens is that those we expect to stand by us desert us during times of adversity, but there’s this one person who is the least person we expect. So, you need to be discerning enough to know who your Ruth is. Sometimes they come to you, other times you need to reach out to them and when you do, they’d say ‘I have been thinking of how to come to you, but I did not know how you’d feel. Bottom line is don’t isolate yourself, seek support and help if you need to.
You must be ready to step out of your comfort zone to do what you need to do to survive and get past that pain, no matter how difficult or how lowly it may seem. Ruth went to the fields
to glean grain after the reapers. That was what she needed to do to survive. The mistake we make a lot of times is we stay put in one place, throwing a pity party and the days run into weeks, months, and years. Jesus said to the lame man, ‘rise up, take up your bed and go’ You may need to move in that place of pain.
Certain adversities are a set up for a greater glory in our lives. If hard times had not befallen Naomi in Moab, she probably would not have returned to the land of Judah, where Ruth would become a link in the messianic lineage of Jesus. (Salmon begot Boaz, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, Jesse begot David). Not every adversity is meant to undermine you. Your light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor 4:17). So, you need to realize that there is purpose in pain. Pain reveals your authentic self to you. Pain builds you up, strengthens you, and can set you up for your God-ordained assignment. Helen Keller, author, political activist and lecturer, who lost her sight and hearing after a bout of illness at the age of 19 months, is quoted as saying “I thank God for my handicaps for through them, I have found myself, my work and my God.
Lastly, you need to realize that nothing takes God by surprise. There’s no pondering over a what next with God. He always has a redemption plan in place. When man fell, God the Father didn’t have to call a meeting with God the Son and God the Holy spirit to discuss next steps. He already had a redemption plan in place which was manifested in the fulness of time in the person of Jesus Christ. He already had a plan for Naomi and Ruth back then and He already has a plan of restoration now for whatever life has thrown at you. He has information you do not have. He declares the end from the beginning and has already set things in motion in your life with the end in mind.
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Yours in service,