Today is one of those surreal days in my life. May I share it with you? I’m here in Illinois to fulfill a longtime goal. A big stage awaits. A stage I’ve envisioned for years. The TEDTalk stage. This is a goal I’ve pursued relentlessly multiple times and let me tell you, it didn’t just happen. My ‘yes’ was first a series of ‘no’s’.
I’ve found the journey to success is a whole lot harder than anyone prepared me for. I’ve been chewed up and spit out a few times. I’ve been knocked down enough to know what it feels like to question if you even want to get up again. And now, today I see … I see nothing has been wasted. Every hardship, every setback, every struggle, every failure, and every no has led to my yes.
My guess is, the road to your yes will look much the same.
All the negative had to happen to push me out of my comfortable little nest. I would have stayed in that comfortable job with good insurance for the rest of my life if the door wouldn’t have been slammed in my face and abruptly ended. I would have never taken that leap.
Sometimes God tells us to fly and we won’t jump. So, He pushes. He closes the doors. He shuts it down. He pulls the plug. He allows your bad to get worse. Then you are left with no choice but to go. And while in the moment it feels like life is absolutely falling apart, one day you look back to see how actually it was all falling together.
I wonder what’s going on in your world that given some time and distance will look radically different to you. I wonder where God has been telling you to go, but you’ve been hesitating. I wonder where good things have fallen apart for you and it’s simply because you have a great big God who loves you entirely too much to allow you to miss out on something so much better.
The story of Ruth in the Bible tells a story of a woman who’s world had fallen apart. Her husband had died and she was now homeless. Not only homeless, but hungry. She was caring for her mother-in-law trying to find enough food for both of them. This woman was in survival mode, just trying to make the best of a really bad situation.
Ruth was a woman who’s world had fallen apart.
Perhaps you’ve been there – trying to make the best of a bad situation. What if your bad situation could be a set up for a blessing that could blow your mind? What if you just keep doing what you CAN do, then God will show up and do what only HE can do?
That’s what Ruth did. Ruth chapter 2, verse 1 through 17 tells us her story. In verse 2 she said, “let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up grains of stalk left behind.” Let me go out. Not let me sit here and worry. Not let me lay here and wallow in my mess. Nope – let me go out and do what I can do. It may not be a lot, but at least it will be something. When you’re hungry, you will do whatever you can do.
Sister, maybe you’re just not hungry enough yet. Until you get hungry enough to go out and do whatever you can do, the situation will likely get worse. But if you will get hungry for more in life, hungry for your passion and your purpose, hungry to fulfill your destiny, then that hunger will drive you to get out there and do whatever you can do with whatever you do have.
Now, here’s another lesson in the story of Ruth which my friend TD Jakes taught me. Are you ready for this? Verse 3 says “So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz.” So Ruth is out just doing what she could and it says “AND AS IT HAPPENED, she found herself working a field that belonged to Boaz.”
AND AS IT HAPPENED, Ruth found herself in Boaz’s field. Another translation says she “hap upon”. You know what that means? She stumbled upon. She just stumbled upon the field of Boaz. The field of someone could help her. She stumbled upon the next step of her destiny.
You see, you and I think destiny and purpose look a lot more like a revelation and a 10 step plan, but most of the time it looks a lot more like “as it happened, and we stumbled upon.”
Listen to me – God allows us to get tripped up and stumble into some of our greatest blessings in life. When we are willing to go out and do what we can do, we position ourselves to just stumble right into something miraculous. You can stumble your way into a career. I did that. You can stumble your way into opportunities, I’ve done that countless times. I stumbled right into a dream I once didn’t even know I had.
Ruth just happened to be in the right field at the right time for the right person to notice her, and this person had the ability to bless her. She stumbled into it. But first she got out and did what she could do in the middle of a really bad situation. Boaz took care of Ruth. He lined up special blessings for her – more food than she could gather. Unprecedented provision.
Is that what you need in your life? Unprecedented provision? A special blessing? A breakthrough? You need to stumble upon your field of dreams to harvest the hope of your life? Well, just like Ruth, you gotta get out there. Get out there. Go out and do what you can do today with what you have, don’t be afraid of some work, and then don’t be surprised when you just stumble upon something miraculous. Get on the road to yes … how, do everything you can do today and trust God with the rest. And don’t be discouraged by the no’s.
10 step strategies and 5 years plans haven’t worked out so well in my life, however I can tell you I have stumbled right into some pretty amazing things. If you’re being tripped up, look around my friend – God’s provision is all around you. You may just be in the field of your dreams. Don’t miss it.
The road to yes is paved with no’s, mine has been. But if you don’t give up, if you will keep showing up, you won’t believe the life God has available to you!