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3 Signs God is at Work in your Darkest Moments
Before there was ever a Romeo and Juliet, a Cleopatra and Mark Antony, or a Pocahontas and John Smith, there was Boaz and Ruth. This tender, romantic story, found in the biblical Book of Ruth, stands as one of the oldest and most beautiful illustrations of what true love is. You can still hear Ruth’s powerful words of devotions (albeit spoken to her mother-in law and not to Boaz) pronounced at weddings all over the world. But through the romance, poetry and fairytale ending, one truth rings true above all; even in the darkest hours of our life, God is still at work.
As our world continues to go through the Coronavirus pandemic, the figure in the story that many of us can relate to is Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in law, who devastatingly loses everything and everyone in her life. First, her husband dies. Then ten years after her two sons are married, both her sons inexplicably die. Ruth 1:5 encapsulates the tragedy, “…the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.” But even in the midst of the madness, God was about to turn Naomi’s fortunes for the good, but Naomi had to maintain her trust in an invisible God, despite the visible and cruel circumstances she was facing.
You may find yourself in a place where Naomi was; abandoned, poverty-stricken, lost. I want to encourage you that your story is not over yet. God has an upper story in the works, and there is a turnaround coming. I want to show you 3 signs of God’s movement in your life that will give you the confidence you need to trust Him in your darkest moments.
After mourning the death of his two sons, Naomi looked at her two daughter in-laws, and realized that she could not do anything for them. They were still young and could remarry, so she urged them to return to their respective families. While one heeded Naomi’s words, Ruth absolutely refused and committed herself to Naomi, to care for her and love her.
For every Naomi there is a Ruth. And for every child of God, I believe God places devoted friendships and relationships that He then uses to motivate, inspire, and support them. The Bible is very clear that God’s people, the Church, are made up of one body. 1 Corinthians 12:25. 26 says, “This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” God sets us up with devoted relationships, so He flow through them in our darkest hour as Ruth did for Naomi. You can see that God is still at work by those He places around you.
Another sign that God is at work in your life is by the seeming random coincidences in your life. Some may call it luck, others flukes, but they are God’s fingerprints in your life, a sign that He is with you. Ruth 2:3 records such a chance encounter: “So she (Ruth) set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz…” Notice that she just “happened” to come to the part of the field that belonged to her future husband. You can see God choreographing her comings and goings to make sure the future couple lock eyes on each other, which they did.
Now it is important to understand that this did not happen in a vacuum. Ruth was right where she needed to be, working to care for her aging mother-in law, when she met Boaz. Similarly, when we are in our place, doing what we know to do in obeying God, He is able to manoeuvre events in your future to lead you out of your hour of need.
The last sign that God is at work in your darkest moments is that He will give you timely encouragement to endure the bitterness and pain of the hour. Interestingly, Naomi’s name means pleasant. And time and time again in the Bible, we see how names are an indication of a future outcome. Sure, things looked irredeemable for Naomi, but the future would be much brighter and more pleasant than the past. Naomi may not have known at that time, but it was a clue from God that things would change for the better in her life.
I’ve been through my own share of loss and challenges. But I have often seen how God will give me an encouraging message of hope and inspiration, many times before a storm arises. Often times it will come when I’m reading scripture or it will come prophetically through a trusted relationship, but it is always encouraging. God’s purpose is that the timely encouragement becomes the foundation of your faith in trusting that you will not only survive the moment but thrive as Naomi and Ruth eventually did.
Whatever moment of need you find yourself in, rest assured that there is an upper story for your victory playing out. And if you will look just a little closer, you will see that God is indeed at work.