Luckily, I got online and found a bible study on the book of Ruth, emailed the facilitator and showed up the next day to meet my new group! There were 9 women in my small group, each with their own experiences, stories, and lives to share and it's amazing how well we all mesh together. One girl is a few years younger than myself, but otherwise, everybody is between the early to mid 40's up to age 65.
If you're not familiar with Ruth and what her role is in the bible, take a quick read - it's only 4 short chapters, but chocked full of life's lessons. Ruth teaches us about integrity and righteousness and the providential work of God in our lives. Fabo.
Last night, the pastor, who is in her late 40's and a complete riot (think of a comedian teaching bible lessons - she makes Numbers funny!!) talked about what Ruth shows us just in the first chapter. She shows us our own struggles with God and the 'plan' that He has for us - we ALL have our struggles, but can't always think of the 'plan' right at that point...Naomi, Ruth's mother in law, gives us the ok to point out that feeling that way is NORMAL....to blame somebody....to be mad and upset with the circumstances that are given to us. They don't always seem fair, but God always knows how our story is going to end - I struggle with that at times and this is where the wheel of 'why' comes up.
Libby (the pastor) pointed out how you can stick a hamster in its little wheel and it will run around and around and around and around until complete exhaustion. We do that too, but our wheel is made up of 'why's' - why me? why this? why that? why did that happen? Sometimes we need to be pulled off of our wheel of why and ask 'how'? How can I make this better? How can my problem be solved? How can I pray for this situation?
I've been knocked off of my wheel of why (or summoned from my pity party) by people I love - who can see the struggles that I go through and know that it's not healthy to continually be upset or worry over nothing and I thank you for that... in John 15:13, it states 'Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends'. How true. A friend will be honest, but in a loving way, and we will STILL be friends with them! I've got friends that I will call or email to ask a question or opinion, wanting an honest answer, and I'll get it - it may not be what I wanted to hear, but they're doing it because they love me.
Ruth mirrors for us a deep devotion - 'where you go, I will go' - telling her mother in law that she would be willing to lose everything to be with her. This really hit home for me because I know I'm a selfish person - I try not to be, but I really I am. Philippians 2:4 states 'Each of you should not look only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.'
I realized that I get upset if something doesn't go my way or it isn't what I wanted to do - I act like a hormonal 16 year old trapped in a 33 year old body. Why is that?
I just want to be refined into a person who puts other people first, who can admit when I'm wrong, who can love no matter the circumstances, and be honest - which, as you can see, I'm showing some raw honesty now! HA! If you are on your own wheel of why right now, step off and start asking 'how' - these words have resonated through my mind all day and if I could ask one thing of you; please pray for me - that my heart would be open and willing to take the changes.