Up until two months ago, it was easy for me to view the trials I went through as being temporary. I knew they were just a season that would soon pass.
I guess that was the writer in me: I tend to see my life as a story. And in a story, characters have to go through hardships. If it wasn’t for those hardships then there would be no story.
Two months ago, however, my faith was stretched. It has become harder to maintain this outlook after my doctor diagnosed me with type 1 diabetes.
Yes, there have been times when I was tempted to get angry with God, tempted to ask Him what I did to deserve this disease.
But do you know what? That kind of approach isn’t going to help anything—instead, it’s only going to make it worse.
After recently reading the book of Ruth, I felt kind of silly for this attitude. Because even though Ruth had lost her husband, she didn’t allow herself to remain in self-pity.
In fact, it was just the opposite: Ruth was more concerned about her mother-in-law, Naomi. Not only had Naomi lost both of her sons, but she had lost her husband as well. And even when Naomi told Ruth that she could go back to her hometown, Ruth insisted on staying with her mother-in-law during that season of grief.
The attitude Ruth maintained during this season amazes me. She didn’t allow the death of her husband to keep her from moving forward; instead, as soon as Naomi and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem, she started to work. Ruth gleaned fields all day without even taking a break (Ruth 2:7).
I think far too often we allow our lives to beat us down and to keep us there.
Bad day at school? The world says you have every right to be in a bad mood. Shut yourself in your bedroom, scream into a pillow. Grow resentment towards God since He is apparently the one who caused this to happen.
Of course, I’m not saying it’s wrong to grieve. In fact, it’s healthy.
Just don’t allow your grief to turn into a constant state of self-pity. Don’t let the stumbling blocks keep you from moving forward into what God has planned for you.
Although I don’t know why I was diagnosed with diabetes, I need to remind myself that God has a greater plan. Has it been rough? Of course. And no, staying positive during this time does not come naturally—but that does not mean it’s impossible.
If it hadn’t been for Ruth’s attitude, she wouldn’t have received the rewards that came along with it. If she had allowed grief to keep her from moving on in life, she wouldn’t have met her future husband while she was working in a field.
God rewards our hard work, faithfulness, and obedience, especially when we go through seasons of trials.
After Ruth married Boaz, she and her mother-in-law’s joy was completely restored when Ruth gave birth to a son.
Ruth 2:20 (MSG):
“Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, ‘Why, God bless that man! God hasn’t quite walked out on us after all! He still loves us, in bad times as well as good!’”
And guess what? It was out of this family lineage that Jesus was born. Ruth would have never become an ancestor of Christ had it not been for her faithfulness.
So when we go through adversities, let us remind ourselves of what Boaz told Ruth in Ruth 2:12 (MSG):
“God reward you well for what you’ve done—and with a generous bonus besides from God, to whom you’ve come seeking protection under his wings.”
Keep going. Don’t give up.
The reward is sure to come.