When You are a Naomi in a Ruth World, Expect the Impossible by Sharon C. Jenkins
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Titus 2:3 (NIV)
It was an unusually chilly day in Houston and I was stretched out on my couch covered in blankets from head to toe watching television. Suddenly, I heard the Spirit of the Lord say, “I didn’t save you to be a couch potato.” It surprised me to hear from God because I’d been avoiding Him. I was ritualistically going through the motions of prayer and bible study, hoping to fulfill my Christian quota for the week. Squeezing it around my favorite television programs and movies. My dilemma was simple: I’d been forced to retire early, and I was mad at Him because He hadn’t come to my rescue. Unfortunately, work had become my god, and I’d become too tired to recognize it. So here was the God of the universe calling me out. To do what? I had absolutely no idea. The good news is that I got up off of the couch and accepted the call, but like Abraham, I wasn’t given explicit instructions on the where, what, how, or who.
Soon after the who became obvious. Younger women started coming to me for advice. First, it was on how to author a book, or how to get published. Then it became how to live a good life in a world that is filled with so many bad things happening. Unfortunately, I was still stuck in consummate professional mode and misinterpreted the call. God in his mercy was patient with me until I got it right. One day, a beautiful young single mother who resembles Beyonce sat down beside me at a class in a radio station we were both co-hosting a show on. We had no idea that this was a setup from God. She hired me to help her get published, and the rest is history. She now calls me Mama J and I call her my play daughter.
I have five granddaughters, but to date, she has been one of the most supportive women in my life. I knew she valued our conversations and the advice I gave her. But I didn’t know to what degree until I had to go to the emergency room and there was no one else to take me. She came, she stayed as long as she could; she updated my immediate family, and she made sure that I got home that evening. I was in the emergency room for over twelve hours!
Her unconditional love has helped to prepare me for an even larger opportunity within my local church. Sometimes God is preparing you for a bigger calling by allowing you to take baby steps towards his planned purpose for your life. My encounter with the unconditional love of my “Ruth” was the stimulus for greater things to come. The next step in my journey was to assume responsibility for a ladies’ LifeGroup. Over the past year, I have seen the ladies in it blossom into the women that God destined them to be. It’s like a rose blooming in an unexpected place or during an unexpected season. You appreciate it more because it’s a pleasant surprise.
Life can make you cynical, but God is calling us to move beyond the trials and tribulations that plague us and look for the beauty that may not be readily apparent. He wants us to see Him repurposing us in the twilight years of our lives and turning us into something beautiful that still brings purpose and value to the lives of others. I am reminded of the New Testament command for the older women in the church, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to too much wine, but to teach what is good.” (Titus 2:3, NIV) This scripture implies that a woman in the winter season of her life should remain teachable. She models the proper Christian attitude exemplifying Christ in all she does so that her younger counterparts can glean from her wisdom and replicate her reputation. In essence, she must become a spiritual mentor for the younger woman, offering the support needed to inspire them to seek to do good.
I was bitter like Naomi because life didn’t work out the way I expected it to. If anyone were to drink from my cup, they would leave with a nasty taste in their mouths. My love for Christ Jesus made me want to do and be more than a terrible memory. When God sent me a “Ruth” filled with his unconditional love, even to the point of sacrifice, I could recognize her as a gift from him. This empowered me to find the courage to become what he ordained me to become as an older woman—a good Christian example that glorifies him.
I am proud to say that I am no longer a couch potato, and if you ever find yourself leaning in that direction, look for a call from the Big Guy. When God begins an excellent work in us, he will keep at it until he sees the manifested fruit simply because he loves us too much to allow us to fail, even in the twilight years of our lives.
About the Author…
Sharon C. Jenkins is the Inspirational Principal for The Master Communicator’s Writing Services. Her business provides writing and coaching services to small businesses, nonprofits, and authors. Her professional experience ranges from working as an editor for a major minority communications and marketing company to being an author’s coach. She’s hosted events such as the Authors Networking Summit, America’s Favorite Author, and Write Your Book in 90 Days at Alpine Resort. She started her journey as a poet, graduated to a playwright, and is now a best-selling and award-winning author and podcaster. Visit Sharon’s website here. Connect with Sharon on Facebook and Instagram.
The Christian Authors Network Speak Up Competition
The Speak Up Competition, sponsored by the Christian Authors Network, is a powerful source of hope and light for people all over the world. This year’s theme, “Expect the Impossible,” is a reminder that no matter how dark our situations may look, we always have hope because we know that all things are possible with God! The inspirational messages featured in this series are from the round one finalists. Stay tuned for updates as the competition progresses, and please pray with us that God will use this competition to bless and encourage His people. We know that the speak up community has the power to make a difference in this world, and we can’t wait to see what God does through us!