Survivor: The Love Edition – The Turn Around

How do we position ourselves to navigate the relationship space successfully?Survivor_Love_Edition_400

Last year I officiated a spectacular wedding in Naivasha. The wedding took place on a farm, not too far from the shores of Lake Naivasha. The theme was a farmhouse, so there were beautiful yellow sunflowers as part of the decor and haystacks. We arrived and were treated to fruits and yoghurt. The ceremony took place under a huge mugumo tree and the couple rode off on a tuk tuk. The wedding started at 2 pm and so everything was perfectly timed for the evening meal to be served just as the sun was setting. This is the stuff that weddings are made of. Many of us have been guests at this kind of event or even perhaps the key characters, in this kind of event, but when we look around us we see couples and families drift gradually into bitter  empty situations, “mara” situations. And it isn’t only in marriage, most people who have just entered a relationship are on cloud nine. But over time some little cracks begin to appear. The question we have been trying to address is how do we position ourselves to navigate the relationship space successfully? And Does God care? Is he concerned about where you are at? Does your circumstance matter to God? This month we have been talking about Survivor: The Love Edition.

In the very first message on the Survivor, love edition series, I talked about how the relationship space is so chaotic with people left wondering how they can survive it. And the fact that you and I need to acknowledge when we are in dire circumstances and return to where God is at work. Secondly I talked about Boaz as the game changer in the situation of Ruth and Naomi and how honorable men if they conduct themselves well in their relationships at work, and in the family have the power to restore people’s faith in God and conversely if they don’t, have the power to destroy people’s faith in God. I said, “the sovereign Lord has entrusted you with a part of his kingdom.” Third I talked about where people meet and we said that many of us have the power to connect a good guy with a good girl and also that we need to be in a stance that communicates that we are available. Boaz and Ruth both took certain actions. I spoke about the unrealistic expectations that people have which also confuse the dating space.

Perhaps your situation still looks very dire. Perhaps you feel that you have been in the mara for so long… when will God show up for me? You ask.

Many women could be thinking they are past the time for them to find someone. Or perhaps you have been prayed for already many times. As I tell you to wait on God, maybe you have moved on. Possibly you have taken matters into your own hands and you have ended up or are contemplating taking short cuts like having a child with someone who is already married. Perhaps you have concluded that there are no men around.

Maybe you have resigned to the consequences of your previous choices. You feel that you don’t deserve God’s intervention in your circumstances. You are operating under the thought that you have made your mistakes and you now have to live with the consequences. You could have messed up when you were younger … You could be a man and you are not settling because you have had children out of wedlock. Perhaps many Christian girls don’t want your story.

Perhaps you have struggled with sexual addictions and you are thinking, I don’t deserve to be happy. I don’t deserve this joy. I have made my mistakes so I have to live with the consequences. Perhaps you feel “I am a scoundrel and this is what I know”. I don’t know how to leave my comfort zone. You don’t know my story. I have done so much. I have done bad things. Perhaps you feel your situation is completely un-redeemable and you are comfortable with it.

You could have lost a spouse and you have not even resolved things to the point where you can consider moving forward with someone else.

God’s word has some things to say; Ruth 4

In one verse, nearly every problem presented in chapter 1 finds a solution: Ruth remarries and God grants immediate conception and a son is born; this is a distinct contrast to Ruth’s barren years in Moab.

What is interesting is Boaz is no longer the central figure, neither is Ruth. Suddenly Naomi comes into the foreground. The women who heard her complaint against Yahweh in Ruth 1:20-21 now return to acknowledge God as the source of her blessings.

The narrator has taken us from the point where Naomi was bereaved of her two sons to this stage where she now holds this new child, the son of Ruth and Boaz. Naomi was finally part of a family again with a loving and fulfilling role to play. In Ruth chapter 1, Naomi’s hands have been emptied of her sons; now she has gone almost full circle. She now holds a new baby. From a place of desperation and lacking in identity, she is now part of a family.

What I see in this story is that God can reverse our circumstances and answers our complaints. He can move us from empty to full. God is not the source of our hardships. He is the source of our blessings. The focus of this grand finale is not Boaz’s action, but the action of God.

Our circumstances matter to God. You could have been longing for a family. What I need you to know is that GOD CAN TURN YOUR STORY AROUND. One question has been the focus of this message: How do I deal with the mara situations; relationship situations that are bitter, empty?

The emphasis is on hope.

Psalm 68: 5 – 6 (MSG)

GOD CAN TURN YOUR STORY AROUND.

As you consider your situation:

Hold on, don’t throw your values out of the window. You need to believe that God will make all things work together for your good. Naomi finds herself a family even though Boaz was not her husband and Obed not her baby but she fulfills her purpose by mentoring Ruth and caring for Obed. I am not saying that every situation is going to end up the way Ruth’s situation ended up but I pray for those who are trusting God. Who for one reason or another want this to be your reality. You are saying, I want Ruth’s story to be my story.

Some people have resigned themselves from the pain of having to venture into this conversation. However, a greater majority would want to be part of a family together with someone.

We would have forgotten about Naomi, but God turned it around so spectacularly, such that she not only gets a child, but by the end of this, her situation turns around.

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5 Responses to “Survivor: The Love Edition – The Turn Around”

  1. Irene Munyoki Says:

    Spoke to me pst.Linda.
    I am glad I was present for this sermon. .and for gathering the courage to stand up as you prayed for those in similar circumstances as Naomi.
    I will await patiently on God to turn my story around ..hopeful that I too shall have a testimonial very soon on how I met my boaz.

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  2. Listening to the testimonies of God’s deliverance from the “mara” gives hope to me who is finding it extremely difficult for the actualization my dream of having a husband despite the fact that i already have a son. I pray,believe and have faith that God will one day do it for me but the hesitation to step out is making it a far fetched dream…..I am encouraged that just like Naomi who thought that her lineage would be no more,she is remembered by us and all those with Biblical knowledge that from her faith and resolution to go back home,came King David…Blessed Week Y’all.

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  3. Blessed, Redeemed & Hopeful Says:

    Hi! I know it might be too early to say this… but this Is my absolute BEST sermon this year. I have just been thinking about the testimonies and the message since yesterday… everything was SO relevant to what I’ve gone through in my short yet disappointing dating life.
    I came to church feeling confused and discouraged after yet another disappointing relationship experience. Dating has to be one of the most challenging things in this world but I will hold on and keep praying because I KNOW without a doubt that greater is coming.
    Thanks Pastor Linda, Judy, Rev Adolwa and Ann. I was so blessed.

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