Last night the senior high girls and I began a short study of the book of Ruth. This is definitely one of my favorites. I love it because it is a story of love, loyalty, perseverance and mercy. It is the story of a redeemer who points the way to our Redeemer. But last night as we were reading it aloud I had a flash.
Naomi was Ruth's mother-in-law. Naomi's husbands and sons were dead and she had released her daughters-in-law from any obligation to her. Yet Ruth could not leave her.
But Ruth replied, "Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go/ wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. may the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!" When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more. Ruth 1:16-18
Naomi had displayed a faith so moving that Ruth would follow her anywhere. But Ruth was not just following Naomi, she was following the One True God. Naomi, even in her loss and despair presented an active faith that was life-changing for Ruth. Naomi wanted to change her name to Mara, which means bitter, yet was still a beacon of hope to Ruth. Naomi had a faith that was solid even in emotional turmoil.
My question for myself is this: Do I shine for Christ even when I am in distress?
As a wife and mother I must be aware of the example I am setting for my loved ones. As a friend I must balance empathy with Truth. As a child of God I must remember God's promises for my future to help me persevere in the present. And like Ruth and Naomi I must lean on my Redeemer when all hope seems lost!