Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)
TITLE: A Plan for the Future
By Cecily Carroll
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To this the older of the woman replied, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went back full, but the LORD brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?"
If you are familiar with the Bible story favorite of Ruth and N aomi, then you know of the sad events that had brought forth these words from Naomi's mouth. Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi, had just traveled from the land of Moab. Naomi had once been the happy wife of Elimelech and the proud mother of two handsome sons. Then tragedy struck. Elimelech died. After his death, her sons married, bringing into the family two Moabite girls, Orpha and Ruth. Ten years later, both her sons died. Now Naomi was left alone with her two daugher-in-Iaw's. At Naomi's insistence, Orpha stayed behind in her homeland, while Ruth loyally stayed by Naomi, following her back to the land of her forefather's, Jerusalem.
It is easy to assume from Naomi's bitter words that she felt forsaken and rejected by the Lord. Her husband and sons were dead. She did not even have food for herself and Ruth. She must have wondered, "Where is God? What did I do to bring this upon myself?"
In her hurt and desperation, God had a plan for Naomi. He had a purpose for her and was about to bring all things together for good. He led Ruth to the field of Boaz, a kinsmen of Naomi. Boaz was kindto her and provided her with food. Through this,
Ruth became the wife of the wealthy farmer, Boaz. They had a son, Obed. From Obed, came Jesse and from Jesse, David was born. David became a great King of Israel, but Naomi and Ruth did not live to see the greatest outcome of God's work in their lives. From the line of David, came Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. How could the two women have known that God was using them in part of His glorious plan of bringing Christ to earth?
Today, God is using you. He is working in your life to create something beautiful. You may not see the reason for hurt and dissapointment now, but God is working all things for your good. He has plans for you, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future!"
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