So it is day four of my week long “forty days and forty nights” and man I applaud Moses and Elijah for their strength because I am struggling. Tuesday I was ready to call it quits and log back into that good ole facebook just so I could feel connected to the world again. Now Thursday again I was so ready to log back in. I even began to tell God my apologies for breaking fast. Then God did what He does best (I mean besides everything that is 😉 ) and that is to still me, and come meet me right where I was. It’s ironic because I was suppose to be practicing to be still anyways, but hey, that’s why He is here, to remind me of the important things I forget.
Anywho, I began uttering my apologies in a light hearted manner like “look God, Man I tried but cut me some slack that I even lasted this long.” Whereas my humorous tone may have been able to fool people, God, the interpreter of my heart, did not blink as He lovingly revealed to me, that my tone may be light but there is nothing light about my heart. He saw behind my facade and exposed to me what really laid behind my inability to refrain from social media, which was discontented loneliness. I felt empty and lonely because I wanted what I could not have. In essence, He basically revealed that I was willing to break my promises to Him, to seek fulfillment from facebook. I write that and just laugh at myself.
Yesterday, I began re-reading the story of Ruth and something at the end of chapter 1 stuck out to me. It read in verses 20-21, “And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Ma’ra: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then ye call me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?” To do a little backtracking Naomi did have a reason to feel sad. She left Bethlehem-Judah with her husband and two sons for the town of Moab, and now she is returning back home bereft of all three because they died. However, her two sons were married to two ladies called Or’pah and Ruth and after a series of tears and hugs Or’pah decided to heed Naomi’s advice and return to her land but Ruth said no. To be exact, in verses 16-17 “Ruth said, intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” That was some serious commitment. So to go back to what Naomi says in verses 20-21, I don’t know about you guys, but if I was Ruth I would have had to do that, stop, cock your head to the side, and have on the “well dang” look. I would have thought “empty? I mean I understand you lost a lot but could you at least acknowledge my presence. At least say, empty besides my lovely daughter in law Ruth.” But I am not Ruth and Ruth was probably confident enough in herself to not go making things about her and taking Naomi’s words personal.
Nope, I was not Ruth but I however saw a little bit of myself in Naomi during those two verses. Now I am no theologian or bible scholar. I do not know if the original language of those verses actually said that Naomi said she was brought back a widow and not necessarily empty. I do not know. But in the moment of just those two verses I asked myself, how many times do I allow myself to focus on what I lost instead of what I have gained? How many times am I quick to accuse God of being so unfair to me because my life was not looking the way I wanted it to look? How many times am I so ready to define myself not by the good of who God says I am, but by the bad that has happened to me? A lot of times.
Naomi was not completely empty because she had standing beside her Ruth who would keep her company when she felt alone. Ruth, who would later be the blessing she needed to acquire a man who could care for them both. Unlike Naomi, I am blessed today to always have the Holy Spirit standing beside me. To make me laugh when I want to be mad, to chastise me when I am being foolish, to stroke my hair when I am feeling sad, and most importantly, to fill me up when I am running empty. I don’t want to keep neglecting Him because I am choosing to focus on what I lack, like a facebook. Like seriously, we all know there is nothing that good about facebook so why was I even trying to play. Why facebook, when I have a nephew I could call and watch him call me “auntie leela;” or friends, who if we so desired to flunk out of college (trust me sometimes we get close) I could call and spend hours talking to and laughing over vines or the mundane events of our lives, like proposals to be someones third wife.
All of this to say, do not let anything or anyone, especially yourself, convince you that you are alone. There may be some rough seasons where you have to feel alone to learn a lesson, but you are never alone. Don’t neglect to see the people that God has blessed you with and above all, do not neglect to see God.