Text: Ruth 1:6-14
Naomi is now a widow and also has lost her sons. Can you imagine? Maybe you can. If so, God is with you (He is so near the brokenhearted, Psalm 34:18). And God was with Naomi, and God was with her daughters-in-law Orpah and Ruth. I would imagine that after such tremendous loss, Naomi would want nothing more than to have the companionship of these young women. Since her husband died first, maybe she’d come to believe even more in the Lord’s closeness. Maybe she wanted to dry her girls’ tears and comfort them.
But she knows that ultimately, in their culture, these women needed protection. They needed a husband, and she rightly knew that she was unable to provide this for them. So, Naomi did the hard thing and encouraged her daughters-in-law to go back, to return to their mothers’ house, and to find rest and peace (hopefully with a new husband!).
Can you imagine how excruciating that would be for Naomi? She lost her husband, but then gained these girls when they wed her sons. Maybe she felt like this was the restoration she had hoped for. Maybe this was her beauty out of ashes. But then, unbelievably, her sons perished, too. All she had left were these young women.
Sometimes, like Naomi, we want more for our loved ones than we can promise them. When this happens, all we can do is point them to Jesus. He is ultimately the only one who will not perish, who will never leave us, who will provide, who will protect.
Our dreams—some of them will die. Our churches—sometimes they will let us down. Our friends—it’s inevitable that they’ll hurt us. But, thankfully, we can continue on because we walk with Christ. He gives us strength and shelter and allows us to do the hard things.