How often do we come back home feeling like a failure with nothing left in us? All washed up with nothing left to give, and everything in pieces. Defeat and exhaustion clinging to us like Superman’s cape. Battle-weary.
I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty… Ruth 1:21A
She was tired, hurting, dirty and road tired. She’d lost her husband and sons, she thought God was punishing her and so she was alone except for one woman who refused to leave. You think she wondered why God let it happen this way? Why He let her leave full, and return alone? As she stood there facing all those people who knew her and admitted she’d failed. That’s the hardest I think, facing all the ones that know you. That know your story. That encouraged you to spread your wings and follow Him and those that said you would fail.
Maybe… Maybe God takes us from our comfort zones- our safe places to “far” off scary places. To squeeze us out into other’s lives like a pitcher filling many cups so that He can touch others lives. Only to bring us back empty again, tired and thirsty- so that He can refill us.
If she hadn’t followed her husband into Moab leaving behind the only home she had known, she never would have met Ruth. Ruth would never have met the God of Naomi, Naomi would never have been squeezed out, made empty so that she and Ruth would return- and history would forever be changed. If she hadn’t been broken she never would have stepped into His amazing plan.
We may not see His plan, we may never. Naomi may never have understood ‘why’, but we can’t see the whole picture. It’s only through the rest of the pages of the Bible we discover the entire picture, the why. We may never know the people we have impacted, or understand the pain of the moment.
But when we let God get ahold of our lives big things happen, what the world may perceive as a defeat, failure, a washout may just be God’s way of refilling us so that He can pour us back out into more lives. Soak Him in, let Him refresh the dry cracked places. Let Him restore you.
…Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. Isaiah 35:6-7