I had another blog written, and then I got in a wreck today. It wasn’t anything serious (and it was my fault), but in that moment I completely understood what it means to live without the peace of God, because I didn’t choose peace in that moment. I chose anger, I chose frustration, and I chose to call my mom and cry about it before I ever talked to God about it.When I was finally able to regain my composure (and let’s be honest, wipe the mascara streaks that had migrated down my neck off), I realized how silly it is to live outside the peace of God. How often do we choose to live without this beautiful, tangible fruit of the Holy Spirit. How often do we choose chaos, fear, and anger?
One of my favorite women in the Bible is Naomi. That’s right—I think Ruth is way too mainstream. Just kidding. If we’re being honest, I really just have a hard time relating to Ruth and all of her hardworking, don’t-need-no-man, trusting-in-God glory. I’m pretty sure Naomi and I would have been best friends.
If you don’t know the story of Ruth and Naomi, here it is in a nutshell. Naomi has two smoking-hot sons, and marries them off to Ruth and Orpah. Halfway through their happily-ever-after, all the men in the family die, and the women are left as widows. In Naomi’s day, being a widow with no other marriage prospects was basically a death sentence. So, like any responsible adult, Naomi marches herself back to her dad’s land, and tries to convince her daughter-in-laws to do the same thing. Orpah is gone faster than Britney Spears’ hair in 2007, but Ruth stays behind and refuses to leave her mother-in-law.
Naomi has everything she needs—a plan, a friend, and a God she trusted. Despite all of that, when Naomi finally makes it back to her homeland, she keeps throwing herself a pity party (copy and paste former statement where I cried for hours and called my mom). This isn’t to diminish the pain and grief Naomi was experiencing, and I am not trying to say that she should have been completely healed from the death of her loved ones. My goal is to simply draw your attention to the fact that Naomi was choosing to live outside of the peace available to her. She chose to feel sorry for herself until she saw that God could really provide. All too often though, a promise comes before provision. I don’t know about y’all, but I want peace in the middle of the promise. I don’t want to sit around waiting for what I can have from God in this moment, right here.
Towards the end of the book of Ruth (it’s really short and really good so you should go read it) Naomi finally sees God moving in her life and chooses to trust His plan. I won’t ruin the happy ending for you if you haven’t read Ruth yet, but let’s just say it all works out.
Sweet reader, can you think of a time in your life when you’ve chosen to live outside of the peace of God? I’m not talking about “oh wow this pedicure is so relaxing” kind of peace. When have you chosen not to experience that peace that surpasses understanding, the peace that tells you that in the midst of your circumstances that God is for you? It’s ok to be the Naomi of the story and not the Ruth. But not forever. Let’s be Naomi’s together and walk through this journey of learning what peace truly means together.