Monday, January 25, 2010

Are you a builder or a burner?

This morning as I wondered where to start my next Bible reading, it popped into my mind that I should read Esther and Ruth. Ruth, being my favorite, was my starting point this morning…

I must admit, a random comment someone made had been troubling me. My first instinct was to rush in, send a message back, and get in the middle of things. But God wouldn’t let me do it…

When I began reading Ruth, I didn’t get any further than the first 5 verses. I started thinking about Naomi. She’d left her country because of the famine in the land, with her husband and 2 sons. They settle down in Moab, and her husband dies. They must have been quite settled in, since they didn’t pack up and head back to Jerusalem, where she probably had family. So her two sons marry Moabite women, which in the Jewish culture was taboo. I wonder what Naomi’s reaction was to that? Can you just hear her in the stereotypical mother’s voice ranting on about it?

Naomi had 2 choices. She could be a builder or a burner. She could choose to build bridges to these 2 young women, and make them a part of her family, and love them and support them in their marriages. Or she could be a burner, burning the bridges between her, her sons, and their wives, being critical and harsh. Naomi chose to accept these young women, even though they came from a pagan culture, and love them right where they were, without being judgmental. Naomi chose to be a builder.

What was the result of her actions? When her sons died, Ruth, one of her daughters-in-law, chose to leave her culture, her family, and her home to follow Naomi and her God. Ruth turned out to be the key for Naomi’s future happiness. Ruth, with her loyalty, her servant’s heart, and her faith in God, would marry Boaz. Naomi would have a home, financial security, and a grandchild to bounce on her knee. She went from “Bitter” to “Blessed”, as the result of a relationship she built with a very unlikely young woman.

When relationship choices come our way, may we be open to building instead of reacting in the flesh and burning bridges. Sometimes the answer to our prayers comes in unlikely ways. Who knows when God is going to send us a Ruth? Or maybe He is calling us to be a Ruth in someone else’s life….

No comments: