Have you ever felt lost or left out because of shattered dreams? Reading the book of Ruth and Prime Time with God devotion the same day sharing the same subject was a sure sign to write this story. Most of us have lived through seasons when our dreams were shattered. There is truth that rain falls on the just and the unjust. We all have dreams in life; when unexpected things shatter them, we are left with a choice to be bitter or better. What choices have you made when tough times trample your dreams?
The book of Ruth unfolds a story of shattered dreams. A big happy family moved to the country of Moab because of a famine in their homeland. While living there, Elimelech, Naomi’s husband died. Her two sons married but soon they died also. Naomi decided to head back to Israel, for she heard the Lord had blessed his people by giving them good crops again. One daughter in law went back to her people, but Ruth vowed to go and live wherever Naomi lived, to worship her God, and Naomi’s people would be her people. Surely, you’ve heard that scripture sung at weddings. What devotion from a daughter in law!
Naomi said in Ruth 1:13 “…it grieves me for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone against me.” She expressed true, hurtful feelings of how God let this happen. She asked to be called ‘Mara’, meaning bitter. Before judging Naomi, we must ask how we handle situations when our dreams have been shattered, our world turned upside down, by sickness, accidents, loss of jobs, divorce, especially death of loved ones. And Naomi lost husband and sons in a season of living in a land away from her people. That’s a heavy load to bear. Her dream of descendants to carry on the family legacy was shattered. She was bitter but dealt with it and proceeded to move forward in faith.
You know the ending of this amazing love story. Ruth and Naomi go back to Naomi’s homeland and see the hand of God working to bless them. Ruth 2: 19-20 shares how her bitterness turns to a better outlook on life. ‘Blessed be he of the Lord who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead.” Why not settle down with your Bible tonight and read the rest of this sweet story that shows how God loves us and works all things out for those who love Him according to His purpose. Naomi’s shattered dreams led to world impacting destiny. Ruth married Boaz who had a son Obed, who had a son Jesse, who had a son David and Jesus came from this family’s lineage. Wow! Naomi could not see how God could bring sunshine from her shattered dreams, but she didn’t give up and become bitter forever. Are you there — burdened, broken, and bitter? Has your hope and reason to believe and step in faith been shattered? God can mend your broken heart and dreams. He is a loving Father who hears His children’s prayers and answers…in His time and way. Our problem comes when we try to fix things ourselves and don’t truly trust and obey God when He speaks to our hearts. He still speaks and still works miracles, as we read in the book of Ruth.
Many of you have miraculous love stories of how God has blessed you also. I sure do. When my husband died and I had cancer within a few months, my heart ached and mind wondered what would happen. Yet, I knew there were people dealing with much deeper heartaches, bigger problems, and more shattered dreams than me. I prayed not to be bitter but to be better. Now, I look back and see how God was lining things up for what is happening in my life today. Cameron and Angel were in place to carry on the family businesses. Clint was home, after helping care for his Dad and became my caregiver, along with Mama # 2, family members, and friends. Tim’s Gift was in God’s plans but it took going through shattered dreams to fulfill the plans He had. Had I become stuck in bitterness or a pit of pity, I shiver to think what my life would be today. We can’t give up or give in when the enemy knocks us down. God has great plans for all His children. The choice is ours to pursue them even when things don’t turn out as we planned. We gotta get there in life; it’s a process with no detours, no straight path to the finish line. Looking back, we can see how God works through our shattered dreams to bring us to a life filled with sunshine…when we trust and obey Him through all things life throws our way.
Beginning a ministry, called Tim’s Gift Inc. was never one of my dreams. Tim and I planned and looked forward to retiring and spending time at Topsail. When those dreams were shattered, I understood Naomi’s feelings of bitterness and questions of how could this happen now. When I was prayed over by Prayer Connection the night before my surgery at Chapel Hill, God healed my body and mended my broken heart to live again with joy, to help people going through similar situations, to give God my best. My shattered dreams would lead to serving Him in ministry and sharing sunshine in our community with children entrusted in my care at The Learning Station.
Had I not made the choice to step in faith to what I could not see, I could still be sitting home alone simmering in sorrow. It took five years after Tim’s death, my healing, and situations that could have destroyed our big, happy family, for me to see meaning in the scripture Naomi quoted. I was blessed by God who does not forsake His kindness to the living and dead.
Going through the process was necessary to heal and restore hope in my life. I pray you are going through the process and choosing to become better, not bitter if you are stuck in sorrow, sickness, or situations you didn’t expect to come your way, trust God to bring good from the bad and give you peace and joy on the rest of your journey. We may cry in the night, but joy really does comes in the morning when we go through the process and put our faith in God.
Next week I will share the rest of the story that brought happiness from my shattered dreams.