I recently began to really study Ruth at the request of my friend LaRaye. After reading over it a couple of times, I found myself relating with both Ruth and Naomi, her mother in law.
The first time I read it I was so focused on Naomi and her bitterness. She said that God had turned His hand against her.
“For the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full,
but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi,
since the Lord has pronounced judgement on me,
and the Almighty has afflicted me?” Ruth 1:20-21
I thought to myself how can someone be so bitter to God? But then I remembered several, short, months ago feeling so bitter and angry towards God. Honestly, I had no right to be but I still was. I felt like Naomi. I thought my life was great and then it came crashing down one day in a Chili’s parking lot. I hate looking back on my life from July-October, it fills with such despair and sadness to know how I was living. Though time kept marching on, my life stood still. I missed out on a lot and I can’t even reflect on that time without getting upset. I was BITTER to the highest degree and besides that, I didn’t feel much other emotion.
What Naomi didn’t know when she said that the Lord has brought her back empty, was what was in store for her future. This is a true example of God’s grace, mercy, and knowing that His plans/understanding surpass our own…let me get to Ruth before I finish Naomi’s story as to not spoil it.
Ruth was married to Naomi’s son who died in the land of Moab, where Naomi’s husband also died. Naomi returned to Judah and sent both of her daughters in law away back to their original homes. Ruth refused to leave her mother in law; she wanted to remain faithful to her. Everything her mother in law told her to do, Ruth followed without hesitation. Through her obedience Ruth met her husband Boaz and bore a son with him who Naomi was blessed with.
Naomi had a faithful daughter in law and through that, Naomi was blessed. When Naomi was bitter, she couldn’t have fathomed how full her heart would be in such a short time. She was truly blessed by God. He knows better.
But oh to be like Ruth…
To be so faithful to her mother in law as a reflection of how we should be faithful to God…to have that faithfulness, I would be so blessed. However, God has already given me, given us all, the ability to be just as boldly faithful as Ruth was; we just have to be obedient to His word and commands.
As I said, I felt like I could relate to both Ruth and Naomi. I felt such bitterness towards God, but God knows better. He changed my heart and provided for me. I became completely filled and satisfied in Him and His goodness. He became enough. We were made to worship and chase after Him and that’s what I began to do. He knew that back when I was angry and bitter that today would come and my heart would be overflowing with His grace and mercy. I am a Naomi.
I want to be a Ruth. I’m working on that. God has promised to do good for His children for His glory. He is not a liar. He is doing so much good in my life, through the trials I have been immensely blessed and I have grown deeper in my faith from them. I know certain plans God has revealed to me about my life and my future and until His timing produces them, to the Cross I will cling. He is steadfast and unwavering. His Word is good and His love for us is overwhelming.
I have gone through ups and downs, who hasn’t? I thought my life was great but through God’s unfailing mercy, He showed me how empty my life really has been for over the past year. He has shown me He is the ONLY one who can satisfy and make my life a worthy life. He is molding me to be like Ruth, His faithful servant.
Ruth said to her mother in law “Why are you so kind to notice me, although a foreigner?” Ruth 2:1
That is my question to my loving Father, for I am a foreigner; yet, You still care for me? How can a love so great be?..I am thankful.
All the unbelief, the pain, everything is changing me. It’s creating in me a believing heart because it pushes me to run more and more to God and trust Him. He is there and cares.
To be like Ruth…