February 6, 2017 by Courtney
“19 So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?” 20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” Ruth 9:19-21
“8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:8-11
“If prayer is a picture of believers lifting one another before the Lord, there are times I have been full-on carried. I don’t mean they’ve just walked alongside me or encouraged me to go on. No, they have picked me up from the pit and held me high before the Lord, my spiritual self limp and lifeless, desperately in need of the life-breath of my Savior. It sounds melodramatic until you’re in the thick of it, too spent to sigh another “please” or “amen.”
Naomi’s circumstances were indeed awful. She’d buried her husband, lost two sons, and said goodbye to a daughter-in-law. She had no hope of a grandchild, no path of provision. “I went away full,” she told them, “and the Lord has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1:21). Yet, there was no fist-shaking at heaven. No renouncing her faith. Naomi believed God was sovereign, even in her tragedy.”
“Circumstances change, but they do not change our God. And they do not change the saving power of Jesus Christ. We need not waste time shaking our fists at heaven when we can run full-force into His arms, trusting He can redeem even us, even this, even now.”
Life is so hard, but God is sovereign. He has a plan even for the darkest tragedy. I have seen him used my struggles to bring about healing for others. Just sharing what I go through everyday with mental illness, alcohol use disorder, and trauma helps others to not feel alone. It helps others to share and be vulnerable. It helps others to get it out. It’s not me, it’s Jesus Christ with-in me that allows me to be so vulnerable. I care too much what people think to do it on my own.
Asking friends what they are doing for self care helps them to remember to take good care of themselves. It helps them to dig deep and realize that they are worth taking care of.
Again, this is not me, but it is the power of Jesus with-in me. He is using me for His glory. It’s not about me, but about Him.
I don’t always share that. I am selfish much of the time and want the glory. But I’m learning that without Him, I am nothing. He gives me purpose. He gives me strength and courage. He gives me boldness.
My daily prayer is that God will use me to bring about glory to Him.