OK, so I wake up at 3:30AM Tuesday and all I hear in my head is "Read Ruth 1-4" ... lol ... yeah, I'm a freak =) ... but that's ok, I like being one. Although even for me that was weird, so I try to go back to sleep and write it off as some weird dream or random thought I happen to have. So morning comes (again) and I get ready for work but this is still on my mind. At this point I'm thinking, what the heck, I'll read the book of Ruth (only 4 chapters anyway) again and see if it speaks to me; might as well since I'll be in the Word somewhere, might as well make it Ruth today I thought.
Then at lunch during prayer (with one of the Christian groups I meet with here at Ford for a Tuesday Bible study) Ruth is brought up ... and while Ruth is a significant story, it's still a very small book and for it to come up during prayer ... that day ... was rather fascinating.
So I read through Ruth again, seeing if He would reveal to me something new. It is a wonderful story of devotion, and while we can learn a lot from her, I still didn't feel the Spirit telling me anything as to why it would be on my mind. Regardless, I pondered the Word as I went on working through the day.
However later that day in prayer something hit me. Now this may not seem like something major to you but all I know is that when I said something in prayer I immediately went to Ruth in my mind, and it most definitely painted a picture I needed to see. Because as I'm in prayer, and concerned over a particular issue, I am trying to give that anxiety to Him. However, at the same time in the back of my mind, I'm justifying this with worldly methods:
"Matt, even if giving it to God doesn't work, just relax, meditate, and try to focus on something positive. Matt, even if God isn't really out there, you can still find a way to relax and work through this"
That's my problem; I have a backup plan! That's not submission ... that's not trust ... that's a seed of doubt that I'm watering that will lead me right back to the dark pit I used to be in for so many years of my life! Yuck! Out! Done! ...
Looking at the picture below, Marceen didn't have a backup plan for climbing down that pyramid! It wasn't easy for her, she was scared, and she could have asked for help, or I could have butt scooted down with her, but no, she needed to get down, and there was one path that would lead her that way.
Did Ruth have a backup plan?
"But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God." Ruth 1:16 (ESV)
No she didn't. There was no, "If it doesn't work I'll listen to you and return, but I'll give it a shot ..."
Did the Isrealites have a backup plan if The Cloud hung around for longer then they had wanted? After all, they were headed to the promised land! Don't you think they wanted to get there?
"Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not set out." Numbers 9:19 (ESV)
"Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out." Numbers 9:22 (ESV)
No, they didn't have a backup plan. They were wandering in a dessert, headed to the beautiful promised land, but if that cloud hung around for several months, they stayed. There was no backup plan.
How often my mind wants to control my situation. How often I want to make sure that I have all my bases covered. How often I just try to figure out all the answers.
Lord, I'm dumping my backup plan. Like a parent waiting for their child to jump in the pool for the first time, I know you're there. I may make a splash ... and I may go under water for a little bit ... but never enough to harm me ... I want to feel your arms around me more then I'm scared of the water ...
Your baby boy ...