back (adverb): in the opposite direction from the one that one is facing or travelling towards
That’s a great movie ain’t it? Mind boggling but great all the same. If you’ve seen all three movies, you’ll know exactly what I mean. The first time I saw the movie, I didn’t exactly get it but from my understanding of it, Marty had to go back into the past in order to secure his future. Now, because it’s a movie, it seems like common sense for Marty to go back to secure his future but in our real lives, how many of us are comfortable going back to secure our future?
As a HR professional, I am sometimes required to give advice on how others can move their careers forward and sometimes, I have advised employees to consider going back in order to move forward. As Christians, we are encouraged to reject any negative words (e.g. back) and not accept them as our portion, which is absolutely the right thing to do because we do not want to confess negative things for ourself. We must realise though, that God doesn't work in the conventional ways we think and He will always work beyond our imaginations because He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than we can ever ask or think. As humans, we are naturally, physically limited in our imaginations, compared to the Almighty Father who knows the end before we are even aware of a beginning.
In Ruth Chapter 1, and in other examples in the bible, there are so many lessons to learn about God's ways. We may not always recognise them as God's ways and this is where we need to be firm in our faith and trust God's leading and timing. So, in Ruth 1, we read about a man named Elimelech who makes a number of decisions, eventually leading to the union of Ruth and Boaz. Now, we know from reading this text that Elimelech could never have imagined that would be the result of the decisions he made and why would he? Why would anyone think that moving their family to another country to escape famine, would lead to their daughter-in-law marrying a distant relative of theirs and becoming a shining example for many single women? Anyway, that's exactly what happened with Elimelech and his family. Others have admonished Elimelech's carelessness in not seeking God's direction and moving his family to another country where he would lose his life and his sons.
As tragic as that passage is, I came to conclude that it was all a part of God's plan; after all, there is nothing that happens in this world that takes God by surprise. For instance, Jesus' lineage is traced back to David and Bathsheba, who David married after killing Uriah (Bathsheba's husband). What I learnt from that bible passage was that God takes tragedy and turns it into His plan. We know Naomi was a woman of God and we know God was with her because she served God. We also know that because Ruth vowed to worship Naomi's God, God was also with her so it is clear to see how God was working to order their footsteps and led them into their destiny which would eventually lead to the birth of Jesus.
Is God asking you to go back to where you came from? Have you had bad experiences with certain people, in certain places that you are loath to return to? What is God saying? That situation/person may not be in the same state as when you left it. That situation/person may be what God uses to bring you to a better future. Do not be afraid of what others might think if you went back. It's a scary thing but do you believe your God is bigger than all that? Show your past who your God is; God can take our darkest pasts and turn them into a beautiful future. Let God make you a testimony today and show others that God is indeed able to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than we can ask or think. Amen!