We all know that there is comfort in being around things that are familiar to us. When we understand something or someone it brings us a sense of comfort. Most times we will even overlook the fact that the situation, place, or individual could be stunting our growth, or wreaking havoc in our lives. There are times when we have become so used to a certain thing that we cannot imagine our lives without it, even if this very thing is hurtful to us. When it is hard to see the truth about certain aspects of our lives, we have to take note of how we are thinking and feeling. Have you found yourself yearning for a fresh start but can’t seem to get your courage up to make the move? Does the space that you are in feel as though there is no life there, yet you stay hoping that something will change? We have all been at this crossroads at some point in life. It’s important to remember that when you feel this way it is because God is trying to get your attention so that you can come to him and get a life changing plan!
There is a woman in the bible named Naomi. Naomi’s husband and two sons had recently passed away leaving her and her two daughter-in-laws widows. Death and loss surrounded these three women heavily. Naomi tells her two daughter and laws Ruth, and Orpah, to go back home to their families because there is nothing that she can do for them at this point. They would have had a better life for themselves with the support of going back home to their families and friends. Naomi has decided to go back to her home town Bethlehem, and leaves her daughter in-laws with a choice. They could either go back to what is familiar and safe, or they could embark on a new journey into the unknown. Now Orpah decides to go back home to her family but Ruth refuses. She remains loyal to her mother-in-law even though she has no idea where her loyalty will take her. She just knew she was not going to go back to where she started! Let’s take a look at the passage Ruth 1:22 (AMP) below:
22 So Naomi returned from the country of Moab, and with her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law. And they arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
So, let’s talk about what just happened here. Ruth decides to follow Naomi into the new and unknown future, instead of returning to the old and familiar. Now the passage above clearly states that when she does this they arrived in Bethlehem during a season of harvest! Now that’s a pretty major thing! It let’s us know that not only did she make the right decision, but because she made the right decision her life was already shifting for the better!
So if your contemplating taking that leap of faith let’s look at 4 things you need to know about leaving the familiar behind and stepping into what’s new:
1) You have a choice- I know often times it does not seem feel like we have a choice when things are really not going our way. We have to understand that when facts are presented to us that a season has passed, or a relationship is over we have a choice to move forward, or stay in the same space. As we see Ruth was presented with the facts, everything around her was dead, but she chose to move forward! What we choose will determine the path that we take.
2) Stay committed to your decision- Now we have all seen the couple that breaks up and makes up every other week. One week they decide they don’t want to be together the next week they are working it out. When we decide to move away from what is familiar we must stay committed to the decision we have made. There will be times it will seem like it may have been better to just go back to what we know, because we are unable to see what is ahead. We cannot allow what we cannot visibly see to rob us of the awesome future that is ahead of us!
3) You have to work for that fresh start- Anytime we start something new there is a humbling period. Things don’t really look how we imagined they would look when we left behind the old and familiar. In fact, sometimes the new life we have chosen can seem very lonely. In Ruth Chapter 2 we see Ruth gleaning (gathering the harvest) all day long in the fields, trying to get enough food for her and her mother in-law to survive. Yes, they had arrived during harvest season but she still had to work to receive the harvest that was available to them.
4) It’s better than you can ever imagine- Once you have gotten through the transition stages you will begin to see your new life take shape. It will require work on your end to work towards the life that you desire but in the end the results will shock you! God wants us to have the courage to leave behind the old dead things in our lives so that he can give us the life that he really has for us. It requires us to trust in him, and to not give up until we see the fruits of our labor. God has something amazing in store for each and every one of us, but we have to leave behind those old dead things in our lives in order to make room for the new.
Now let’s go back to Ruth. There’s something incredible that happens here that we must look at! Ruth gleaned in those fields for some time. While she was doing that someone took notice of her. Have you ever heard of Boaz? Well Boaz was the cat’s meow and he really had it going on for himself. Let’s just say not only did Ruth get married again but she also married a very wealthy man who made sure she and her mother-in-law were well taken care of for the rest of their days. Now going into this situation I’m sure Ruth never saw herself getting married again or even having a child, after all the loss she had encountered in her life. I think it’s safe to say that she just knew she didn’t want to go back to the familiar because she knew there was nothing there for her. That was the best decision she could have ever made for herself!
No matter what that dead thing is in our lives, God wants us to know that there is something new and amazing waiting for us! He wants us to trust in him enough to take the leap of faith to leave the old and familiar behind so that he can bless us beyond our wildest dreams.