In the Book of Ruth, the name Ruth in Hebrew is "Raya". Raya is translated "female friend". Ruth, a widow, provided friendship and love for Naomi saying, "Where you go, I will go; where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." This connection is like no other. The Lord has not forgotten His widowed-daughters, but HE has, instead, chosen you to travel a special road. Welcome, Raya, to this place. You are loved. You are not alone.
Friday, June 14, 2013
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven...
A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance...
It's true...there is a season for everything in our lives. First, God gives us the obvious...we are born and then at some point, we die. Both events are as He ordains and all in His perfect timing. I love how in these verses, God gives us the tragedy...and then the reward of TRIUMPH? It would be so easy to just focus our eyes on the tragic part of life...but if we are diligent to pray and persevere in seeking the Lord for His will and restoration...He is faithful to bring about triumph over our circumstances. He doesn't change the circumstances, because that would be too easy...but rather He strengthens us to endure the pain and suffering in those circumstances and then uses them for His purpose and His good...which gives Him the glory and blesses us with healing for our hearts. TRIUMPH!
Dear Raya: our Maker, our heavenly Husband wants nothing less than to give purpose to our mourning by reaching out to others through our pain and providing comfort in times of loss. Maybe you are still at the point where you are the one that needs the comfort because the loss of your husband is just too raw. You are at the point where you can only focus on the tragedy in your life. Hold tightly to the Lord and His promises in His Word! He promises to bring the triumph to you in a way that only He can. He will turn your weeping to laughter; your mourning to dancing. Someday...a new season will come along and you will be able to take the comfort that you have been given and provide comfort to another widow that needs to see that she will survive all of the pain and anguish she is feeling. She will receive HOPE from the Lord by shining His light through YOU!
Or perhaps you have been on the journey of widowhood for a while now and you have accepted and now thrive in this new life that the Lord has sifted through His fingers and given to you. Praise the Lord for you being in this place of surrender! Prayerfully, you have reached the point of allowing the Lord to use you as a vessel for His glory. God wants to use your experience in this grief process to show what He can accomplish through your pain. He did this with His Son, Jesus Christ, so why wouldn't He do the same with us?! Sister, I encourage you to walk this road with a newer widow...share your stories of God's faithfulness, comfort and unfailing love. Stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your widow-sister to give her added strength. Carry her when she is unable to move. Stand in the gap with intercessory prayer for her and her children, if there are any. Be that voice of the Lord when she needs counsel. Encourage her to take the next steps of faith in this new life. Allow her to see that she cantrust the Lord to deliver on His every promise! This fellowship, precious Raya, is like no other. This support brings forth a community of strong, godly women who have been cultivated by God with the ability to become leaders of their families, leaders of support groups, leaders of bible studies...leaders for the glory of the Lord!
The changing of seasons the Lord refers to in Ecclesiastes 3 is absolutely necessary. The new washes out the old. Beauty overtakes the dreadful. Strength triumphs over weakness. HOPE replaces hopelessness! If we didn't have the seasons that overwhelm us and cause our heads to hang low...we wouldn't be able to appreciate the miraculous deliverance and restoration gifted to us by the Lord that loves us with an everlasting love.
There isn't anything that the Lord will not use for His glory! We will never cry the same tear twice. Each one serves His purpose and brings His healing. He is the Lifter of our heads! He is our faithful REDEEMER! Amen?
Lord, give each woman reading this the hope and strength that she needs to continue on the journey that you have ordained. Turn her tears to laughter and her mourning into dancing again. I am so grateful for your faithfulness to restore lives that have been touched by grief. I am thankful for the seasons that allow us to see YOU at work in our lives. Praising You, Jesus, for Your ultimate sacrifice that allows me to understand what sacrifice truly means. Go before me in my ministries, Lord. Use me. Renew me. ALL for Your glory, God. Amen.