It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it? We all know that when we ask God to forgive us, we have received His forgiveness. But what happens when God does something to tick you off? I know what your spiritual mind is saying, “I would never be mad at God because God is good.” Let us be honest with ourselves and think about the last time that we were mad at God for doing something that we didn’t like or didn’t do something that wanted Him to do. Sure, it is all in His will and in His timing. But our flesh cries out in anger when it doesn’t get what it wants.
I was taken to the book of Ruth for this question. Everything in life as they knew it was grand. Elimelech and Naomi took their family and moved to the land of Moab. It was there that their children would marry the Moabite women and begin their lives.
“Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband.”
Naomi was left with her two daughter-in-laws alone in this place. All that Naomi had longed for and lived for was snatched from her hands when her husband and children died. So bitter, that she changed her name from Naomi to Mara which means “bitter.” Why was Naomi so bitter? Let’s read.
“So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked. “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me? So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.”
Going through changes always raises the eye brow of the unexpecting passerby. You know what I mean? You try to quit smoking and so now, you have decided to have only gum at your desk. Next thing you know it, you are the Super Bubble King of the world. That person who used to bum a cigarette off of you now feels awkward and abandoned by your treason. The past several years for me have been marked and marred with changes. For you, a change is just something you find in the seat of your car. For me, it’s a lifestyle. It’s more like Jon Acuff’s Quitter, I have become a serial changer. I may have to adapt a Change: Closing the Gap between your Cushion and Your Checkbook. I have discovered the art of frugality.
Since 2006, I have found myself going from single, broke, confused, and daunted to married, making ends meet, enlightened, and daring. But I have had to make changes in my everyday life to serve the purpose to which God has put into my heart. In order to do that, I have to change relationships, change jobs, change houses, change lifestyles, etc. To the average Joe, I am a changer. I constantly am going through change and probably will do so until the day I go home.
Something that struck me is that without change, my life would be boring and I would be broke. Change is the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit that lies within me. Without change, I would find myself wandering alone on a deserted road wondering what to make out of life. It’s not just me who is addicted to change. Ask the average Christian and we will tell you that we are addicted to change. We change churches like we do clothes. We change music styles to cover the real music we like. We change our clothes because we would hate to be seen wearing a Camel’s shirt.
This thought was brought on by a book I am reading called Developing the Leader within You by John Maxwell. In that, I read “to be a leader you must preserve all through your life the attitude of being receptive to new ideas. The quality of leadership you will give will depend upon your ability to evaluate new ideas, to separate change for the sake of change from change for the sake of me. –William A Hewitt.”
For the sake of you; change is vital. We must change to better ourselves as a society, as a people, and as a person. God did not develop the human mind to stay the same but to change. How so? In Galatians 6:15, we read “It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.“ God doesn’t so much care about your denomination, your cross, your Jesus Juke, etc. What they want to see is that change in you.
With that said, have you forgiven God for allowing the doors of these difficulties to be opened instead of closed? Have you changed your name from Naomi to Mara? Or have you taken that sorrow and made the change of heart towards something greater?