What if we circle back around to find rest in our Redeemer?

It’s a delight to get to share with the Beloved Prodigal community this Monday morning.  Thank you for joining me for a look back over our shoulders at the trail we’ve traveled the last six weeks as we’ve studied the Old Testament book of Ruth.  It’s really just occurred to me that we’ve sojourned a complete circle in these six weeks from Bethlehem to Moab and back to Bethlehem in the land of Judah.

The circle began with an escape.  A family, Naomi’s family, fled the scary unknown future of a land in famine.  However, once they planted themselves in the far-off country of Moab, the grass didn’t seem so much greener.  In fact, in Moab, their family circumstances only took a downward spiral.  I wonder if anyone other than myself can relate to such a circle of events.

Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food.  Ruth 1:6 ESV

When I look back over my shoulder to the path I’ve personally traveled, rather than a straight line, I see a number of circles.  Some of us may remember from geometry class that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line; however, we tend to live out our journey to eternity by traveling in circles.  Perhaps God’s intention is not necessarily the shortest distance.  What if He rather enjoys the adventurous journey of creating an intimate, trusting love relationship with His bride?

I do believe God’s intent was for His creation to trust His goodness and to accept the boundary He established in the Garden.  Full perfection of life and relationship were established by God and enjoyed by Adam and Eve as they lived in dominion over the rest of God’s creation.  However, it was in God’s perfect Garden that the circle pattern began.

The serpent engaged Eve in a game of questioning God’s goodness and Eve participated.  She allowed the seed of doubt to take hold of her heart and mind.  Eve nurtured the lies of the enemy without discussing them with God.  Finally, her wrong thoughts about God and His good intentions toward her became an act of treason.  Adam joined her in choosing their own way rather than the sanctuary of their Creator.  Thus began the circle of all people to satisfy the flesh, come to the end of our own good ideas, cry out to God for help and see He was already on His way to the rescue.*

We sojourned full circle running away to returning home. Full circle from famine to harvest.  Full circle from family tragedy to family restoration.  We sojourned from self-protection to abiding under the authority of God’s protection.    ~Lisa Brittain

Six weeks ago, we joined Naomi, her husband Elimelech, and their two sons choosing to leave their homeland of Judah for a foreign land.  We are left to our imaginations as to whether the couple conferred with God about their move.  Don’t you wonder how they arrived at the decision to move away?

We can only guess at whether Naomi insisted her husband take their sons away from famine and into a land where they could better provide a life for them.  Perhaps it was Elimelech’s choice, and Naomi was forced to go along.  We just don’t know.

For the vague details, I’m grateful because the story of Naomi’s family lends itself open-endedly to scenarios we all face in our current day.  Without the details, we can avoid the blame game.  Rather than being distracted by the people and their right or wrong choices, we are led by Holy Spirit inspiration to focus on the hopeful and life-giving qualities of God.

Isaiah58.6.BP

On our six week journey with Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz, we were continually wooed and awed by God’s goodness.  We heard the good news of His provision.  He called all of us to come home and take shelter under His Wing of protection.  Day by day and week by week, we were invited to the Redeemer’s table to partake of the feast of His Word.  And finally, as we witnessed the Lord’s favor for those who seek shelter in Him, we received the assurance He is delighted to redeem us and give us rest in His family.**

Rest is where we ended our study through the book of Ruth.  It sounds so good and inviting, doesn’t it?  However, I get caught up in the same pattern of circles in which Naomi found herself.  Sometimes by my own choices and other times by the choices of others.  Nevertheless, my heart’s desire is that I would be ever more attuned to my Redeemer’s voice inviting me to remain with Him – to abide.

But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.  The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”  Ruth 2:11-12 ESV

What I’ve learned about myself as I’ve studied Naomi’s wide circle back around to God, her home, and her people is that my God has never forsaken me.  Even on my widest turns away from Him, His arm has never been too short to reach me nor His whisper too soft to prick my ears.

Additionally, my God never wastes a single adventure.  Though I’ve tried to solve many issues in my life on my own before crying out to Him for help, there’s always been someone who has been impacted by my story.  Other people are always watching us and listening to our words.  When we choose to respond to God’s good news for the first time or the hundredth time, another person is likely to come along.

God is so gracious to allow us to participate with Him in whatever He is doing.  I pray that you, like me, take great comfort in the truth that God is much more concerned about our growth than arriving by the shortest distance with all the right answers.  He delights in traveling with us on our journey home and welcomes us with open arms even when we take a detour.  And as our Redeemer, His intentions are always good, honorable and protective.

“I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”  Ruth 3:9 ESV

And so His invitation awaits.  Have you heard the good news of God’s blessing on His people?  Is it about time to head for home?  If you’ve lived in a far-off land only hearing about the goodness of God, is it time to tag along with ‘a Naomi’ who can introduce you to her Redeemer?

I’m circling back around to find rest under my Redeemer’s protective covering.  How about you?  Will you join me on the journey?

Redeemer is center focus.BP.png

Please enjoy this song in a time of worship:  I Surrender by Hillsong

*Genesis 1-3 ESV

** Ruth 1-4 ESV

9 thoughts on “What if we circle back around to find rest in our Redeemer?

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  1. Dear Lisa,
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us all through this study. I have been so blessed as the Lord has shown me some of these same things, especially this: “God is much more concerned about our growth than arriving by the shortest distance with all the right answers.” Oh, may I continue to hear His invitation to dwell within His rest, and to keep circling back into His arms. My prayers go with you, as I ask the Lord to keep you on His path of sharing and loving all those who would take this journey as well. Love & Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bettie! Thank you for walking alongside me from time to time as we talk to Jesus. You are such an encouragement to all of us who know you. A true prayer warrior you are, and a beautiful daughter of the King! I’m circling back with you… looking for you on the pathway. =)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you, Lisa Brittain, for all the thoughts you’ve shared the past weeks. Your gleanings have brought to me a new understanding of God’s guidance, as I look back at what has happened in my own life in the light of these studies.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Lisa Enqvist, what a JOY it has been to get to know you a bit through our Facebook live study and through prayer. You are a beautiful sister and I will continue to pray for you. Prayerfully we will continue to see our Father cross our paths while we journey with Jesus. I’m so grateful to God for the way He has been meeting with you through His Word. He’s an amazing Father and Savior and Comforter – Friend!
      Lovingly,
      ~Lisa

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! The sharing of your gleanings have brought me a new friend in you. I hope we can share more of what God teaches us through his word and through his dealings in the circles of our lives.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Lisa – this is beautiful! You have embraced Ruth and let the promptings of Holy Spirit guide you as you teach us deeper understandings of this story. I love the idea of circling. I find I do this often enough to realize that it’s not always a good thing! But God … is patient, understanding, walks the circle with us, and redeems choices that are not in our best interest. Thank you for sharing the words at #TellHisStory and for your sweet encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary, for being a #knittedheart sister in Christ. Thank you for your encouragement – many times – over this past year. Bless you too with eyes fixed on Jesus…
      I see you shining with His glory!
      Lisa

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Perhaps God’s intention is not necessarily the shortest distance. What if He rather enjoys the adventurous journey of creating an intimate, trusting love relationship with His bride?” Lisa, I never thought of it that way but it makes sense. The shortest distance isn’t always the best for us, is it?
    Thank you so much for leading us in this study of Ruth. There is so much to glean from their story.
    Thank you for reminding us to rest, to trust Him always, even when we can’t see the answers or when things look dark. I am so thankful that He doesn’t waste any of our experiences. Even when we stubbornly go our own way because we think we know what to do, He is patiently going with us and gently nudging us in the right direction. Or maybe sometimes He has to give us a big push or close doors ahead, but always He wants us to trust and know that His timing and His way is perfect. And what a blessing for me to travel this road with you and the rest of the Beloved Prodigal team. Many blessings to you, Lisa, with much love! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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