May 5

Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22; John 4:4-42; Psalm 105:1-15; Proverbs 14:25

Do you allow the circumstances that you face to define who you are? Do you allow the faults that you have or the failings you’ve experienced in life dictate who you are? If so, you are very much like Naomi. She was a woman who endured a rough life. Her husband moved her to a new city and they built a seemingly great life. They had 2 sons who found themselves wives. All was going well.

Then, Naomi’s husband dies. Ten years later, both of her sons die. In Middle Eastern culture, the men were one’s connection to security and identity. With her two daughters-in-law, she decided to return home. One daughter-in-law turns back to go be with her family and start over. The other daughter-in-law, Ruth, makes a resolute commitment to never leave Naomi. Once Naomi and Ruth arrive back home, they are met with great joy and affection.

Naomi tells these happy people not to call her Naomi which means “sweet” but call her Mara, which means bitter. Naomi wanted people to refer to her based on what life had thrown at her. But, she was so much more than her past. God made Naomi so much more than her circumstances. As you go through life, you will face times when things do not go well. You will face challenging times that may cause you to revise the pathway that you take to your destiny (notice I did not say that your destiny has changed just the pathway).

Don’t change your name! God’s purpose and plan for your life has not changed. Your future is still bright. Your dreams are still attainable. Your life still has meaning and purpose. You have to believe this: you are more than your circumstances!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ruth 2:1-4:22; John 4:43-54; Psalm 105:16-36; Proverbs 14:26-27


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