God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways
– by Audrey Hardy
In the Book of Ruth, we read that Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, left Bethlehem to move to the land of Moab, not knowing what was going to happen to them! They were fleeing famine and were prepared for the dangers of the journey, as this seemed the only option open to them. There, the sons married Moabite women, Orpha and Ruth. Some years later after the deaths of her husband and both sons and, having heard that “God had visited His people by giving them bread”, Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem. Ruth does not hesitate to accompany her. Naomi had no idea what awaited her there, and she felt that somehow, “the hand of the Lord had gone against her.” The Lord, however, was always in this plan. It took the death of the husbands for both these women to return to Bethlehem.
This story reminds me of when, in 1982, my husband and I made the decision to leave South Africa and return to Mauritius. This was the last thing I wanted to do. The uncertainty of what lay ahead was daunting and meant many unwelcome challenges. I felt so settled in Durban. Our future seemed bright, and we were really living out God’s plan for our lives in South Africa. With hindsight, like Naomi, I can see how an old plan had to die to make way for a new one. Neither Naomi nor Ruth could imagine how God was orchestrating an incredible encounter that would result in the fulfilment of His great plan for humanity. Once in Bethlehem, Ruth meets Boaz, and from this marriage, we have the lineage of Christ! The Lord will always bring His plan and purposes to fruition in the lives of all those who are willing to place their trust in Him. This is the way He works!
JOY! Magazine (February 2018)