Wednesday, November 10, 2010
No Is Not An Option!
For the past few weeks I have noticed on the local and national news, story after story and number after number shocking disparities in women lives. These messages have been clear and consistent that some women have become discouraged and frustrated. They are giving up on looking for jobs. They are giving up on their marriages. They are giving up on church. They have even given up on life.
What I’ve discovered so far is that there are a lot of broken women. Women who are broken physically, mentally and financially. They can’t see past where they are and have lost hope on what’s ahead. They have lost the zeal of experiencing what we’ve heard so often called “The American” dream. I mean from the best neighborhoods to worst across America, everyone is experiencing the turbulence of troubled times causing us to say no I just give up. I quit.
I believe positioning yourself for purpose is predicated on your next decision. In the book of Ruth, we can see an example of this type of determination through two devoted friends Ruth and Naomi. I am encouraged through Ruth because here we have a young woman who was a princess. She is the great grand-daughter of King Eglon of Moab. She was married to Mahlon who later died and now she is a young widow. She is faced with a situation that is hopeless. She has no husband, no money and no means to take care of herself.
I don’t know if you are aware of this. But in those days widows had no standing in the community and were totally dependent upon the good will of their families and friends for survival. It was the duty of the Priests to look after widows and orphans, but there was no such provision in Moab; because there was famine in the land.
But something happens to change her destiny through the wisdom of her mother-in-law Naomi. In chapter 1 verses 6-7 says, One day she got herself together, she and her two daughters-in-law, to leave the country of Moab and set out for home; she had heard that God had been pleased to visit his people and give them food. And so she started out from the place she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law with her, on the road back to the land of Judah. (Message Bible)
Sisters, feeling sorry for ourselves or continuing to wallow in our pity parties is not going to help us. Naomi’s action is what I call Decisive Faith – Faith that says, “I have to make the decision and get myself together”. She received a word God was blessing the people and decided it is time to take a step of faith towards her destiny.
This is the problem we face as women, when we have things that block our perspective on what is going on. We can be so close to God, but yet so far away. We can avoid the consequences of poor decisions by taking God’s word seriously. You may think you have been rejected, excluded, cutoff, and shutout, but, I want to encourage you that God wants to put a word down in your spirit that will enable you to get up and make a decision to begin moving toward your deliverance.
After examining her situation, Ruth refuses to take “no” as her final answer decides to leave her current state and go. She decided to go with Naomi to Bethlehem. Ruth did not allow herself to be paralyzed by her lack of a husband. She understood God’s promised provision and was willing to position herself for purpose. She understood it would take act of obedience, diligence and was able to receive the blessings of God.
Ruth was able to discern when her season was up. In chapter 1 verse 16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God”. She realized she was in a difficult place because there was a famine. Sisters, shift your focus. Quit looking at your situation and start anticipating your blessings. Don’t be so preoccupied with your current situation that you don’t see beyond it. For example, if you’re having problems with your job, look beyond it. If you are having difficulties in a relationship, get past it.
Or are you like Orpah? Who was so preoccupied with her situation she could not discern the blessings ahead. Orpah made a decision to turn and go back. Orpah was a woman full of unbelief and empty of wisdom. She made a mistake on making a now decision on a then experience. She was limiting her future to her past. She had more faith in her lack than she had in the promise. Sisters when you do that, you are limiting on what you could be based upon what you have been. Just like our sister Orpah, you become preoccupied with problems and situations, when you should be looking at opportunities.
Instead of focusing on negative, develop an attitude of expectancy. To say you were born this way and you will never change -- negative. To say this is how I am and it is what it is -- negative. To say, I don’t have enough education – negative. To say I am too fat – negative. To say I will never get married – negative. Your current situation isn’t the destination, but a chance to alter the course to get there. You have to take a stand and be bold enough to say like Ruth, “no is not an option”, I’m going all the way. I am moving forward!
Peace and blessings to you,
Cynthia A. Patterson
"Author of the forthcoming book, It Had to Happen - Understanding that everything you go through in life is for God's Purpose."